Degenerative Arthrosis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

What is Degenerative Arthrosis?

Also known as Osteoarthritis, it is a disease that affects the joints. The surfaces inside the joints are damaged so they do not move as well as they should.

When a joint develops Osteoarthritis, the part of the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones becomes rough gradually and becomes thinner.

The bone at the edge of the joint grows outward, forming bone spurs called osteophytes .

The synovial membrane (the inner layer of the joint capsule that produces the synovial fluid) can thicken and cause excess fluid to swell the joint.

Also, the capsule and ligaments (resistant bands that support the bones) slowly thicken and contract to make the joint more stable.

What causes Degenerative Arthrosis?

There are many factors that can increase the risk of osteoarthritis:

Age – Osteoarthritis starts from 40 years of age and older. We do not fully understand why it is more common in older people, but it could be because it weakens the muscles and the body is less able to heal itself.

Gender – For most joints, especially the knees and hands, Degenerative Arthrosis is more common and more serious in women.

Obesity – Being overweight is an important factor in the cause of Degenerative Arthrosis, especially in the knee.

Joint injuries – A serious injury or joint operation can lead to osteoarthritis. Normal activity and exercise do not cause osteoarthritis, but doing very demanding physical activities can increase the risk.

Genetic factors – Nodal osteoarthritis, which affects especially the hands of middle-aged women, occurs strongly in families, although it is not yet clear which genes are involved. And some rare forms of osteoarthritis, which start at younger ages, are linked to genes that affect collagen (an essential part of cartilage). Genetic factors play a minor role, but it is still important in osteoarthritis of the hip and knee.

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?

Symptoms of osteoarthritis may include:

  • Pain.
  • Rigidity.
  • Feeling of friction or friction (crepitus) when moving the joint.
  • Hard or soft swelling
  • Abnormality in the use of joints, which can make certain activities difficult (for example, climbing stairs).

What treatments exist for this condition?

Many people find that self-help is enough to manage the symptoms, but really the doctor is the only one authorized to suggest treatments, if needed.

Analgesics

The doctor may recommend strong opioid analgesics (o) such as tramadol, nefopam or meptazinol. Stronger analgesics are more likely to have side effects – especially nausea, dizziness and confusion –

Steroid injections for osteoarthritis

Steroid injections are mainly used:

  • For very painful Degenerative Arthrosis.
  • For sudden and painful attacks caused by the spilling of calcium pyrophosphate crystals.

The injection is applied directly to the joint and almost always relieves pain for several weeks or even months, especially for osteoarthritis of the knee or thumb.