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Joint Diseases

Joint Diseases – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Places where two or more bones come together, for instance at the knee, hip, elbows and shoulders are called joints. Many types of injuries and diseases threat the health of our joints, their flexibility and integrity.

Among the most common joint diseases we find arthritis, the acute or chronic inflammation of the joints, which can become severely debilitating over time. Main symptoms include constant pain, swelling and stiffness.

Other frequent joint diseases involve bursitis, an inflammation of the fluid-filled sac, whose main function is to cushion the joint. Furthermore dislocations or injuries that force bones out of position can harm the joints as well.

Treatment for joint diseases may vary depending on the causes, and any hospital for joint diseases can offer a diversity of options. For example, for sports injuries the treatment begins with rest, ice, compressions and elevation of the body part (RICE method), which reduces pain and swelling, and speeds up healing. Physical therapy (mainly during rehabilitation) is also a common treatment for joint diseases. For severe injuries and advanced arthritis, joint replacement surgery is required.

List of Joint Diseases

One of the most common joint diseases is arthritis, which may informally refer to any disease affecting the joints. Some forms of arthritis include:

  • Osteoarthritis – It happens when the surface of the cartilage wears away, making the bones rub to each other. Pain, swelling and loss of motion are characteristic symptoms.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – It is an autoimmune disease, in which the body’s own immune system attacks the joints, causing pain, swelling, loss of function and stiffness.
  • Gout – It is caused by uric acid build-up in the joints, which can imply severe pain.
  • Juvenile arthritis – It only affects children.

Some other specific joint diseases include:

  • Extra-abdominal desmoid tumors or aggresive fibromatoses
  • Joint infection
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans
  • Sacroiliitis
  • Synovial Chondromatosis
  • Lupus
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Psoriasis
  • Infections

Joint Diseases – Diagnosis and Symptoms

Below you will find the list of diagnostic procedures used by any hospital for joint diseases:

  • Arthrography – a medical imaging tool, which works with a material injected into the blood stream
  • Bone-X-Ray or Radiography – a noninvasive test which exposes parts of the body to ionizing radiation to produce pictures.
  • Joint Aspiration or Arthrocentesis – involves aspirating or collecting small samples of joint fluid using needles to evaluate, diagnose and trace back the cause of joint diseases.
  • MRI of Musculoskeletal System – Magnetic resonance imaging helps diagnose joint diseases.
  • Synovial Fluid Analysis – used to diagnose joint inflammation.
  • Arthroscopy - requires a small incision to introduce a small lens with lights to magnify and illuminate the structures of the joint.

Joint Diseases Treatments

  • Cortisone shots – or injections containing corticosteroid and anesthesia that help relieve pain and inflammation.  
  • Hydrotherapy – involves the application of water to treat physical dysfunction.
  • Joint and soft tissue injections – are used to take fluids or to apply medicines.
  • Joint replacement surgery – damaged joints are removed and replaced with a new one.
  • Total joint replacement – is used to relieve pain and restore mobility.
  • Alternative therapy or Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate