Both large and small joint spaces can be affected. The most commonly diagnosed is polyosteoarthrosis of the fingers or toes. Elbow, hip and knee joints also suffer.
Generalized arthrosis is characterized by damage to three or more articular joints.
The most common cause of generalized osteoarthritis is excessive exercise and trauma. However, there are other predisposing factors:
- heredity, which involves the special structure of cartilage and bone tissue;
- endocrine diseases;
- metabolic disease;
- bad habits;
- hormonal disorders;
- sedentary lifestyle;
- excess weight;
- arthritis and arthrosis.
More often, the disease occurs in patients after the age of 50 years. During menopause, the number of cases of polyosteoarthrosis increases in women.
Osteoarthrosis of a generalized form appears when several predisposing factors are exposed.
The disease can be asymptomatic for several years. This is due to the fact that with polyosteoarthrosis there is no damage to the internal organs or the inflammatory process. The destruction of cartilage tissue in the initial stage is not accompanied by clinical manifestations until it reaches a severe scale.
At the initial stage, painful, dull, then it becomes acute, interferes with normal movement.
Symptoms of the disease:
- pain and stiffness of the joints after waking, which disappears within 30 minutes;
- increase in pain during physical exertion and decrease during rest;
- decreased joint mobility, which makes movement difficult;
- crunch while walking;
- swelling of tissues and the formation of osteophytes, which leads to joint deformation and its increase in volume.
The stronger the destruction of tissues, the more likely complete immobilization of the affected joint spaces. At the last stage, the pain is very severe, does not leave a person even at rest.
Stages of the development of the disease:
- narrowing of the joint space;
- thinning of tissues, cartilage deformation;
- the appearance of bone growths (osteophytes);
- nodule formation;
- accumulation of fluid in the joint capsule.
Tumor-like masses (nodules of Bouchard and Heberden) can be found on the fingers. Their formation is accompanied by pain and burning.
Which doctor treats polyosteoarthrosis?
Your doctor may be a rheumatologist, orthopedist, or surgeon. All these specialists are involved in the treatment of degenerative-dystrophic changes in the joint, but at different stages.
At the initial stage, when the pain is mild, it is worth making an appointment with a rheumatologist. With the progression of the disease, the patient will need massage and exercise therapy. A set of therapeutic measures can be prescribed by an orthopedist.
In severe cases, surgical treatment is performed, so the help of a surgeon is needed.
In official medicine, the diagnosis of polyosteoarthrosis does not exist. In the clinical manifestations of this disease, the patient is diagnosed with polytrosis.
The diagnosis is made on the basis of visual inspection, palpation, test results and instrumental examination techniques.
To differentiate with arthritis (to exclude the inflammatory process), the patient must pass a general and biochemical blood test. Radiography or MRI is then performed.
In severe cases, intraarticular puncture or arthroscopy is necessary.
The treatment of polyosteoarthrosis is complex. It involves:
- Drug therapy.
- Physiotherapeutic procedures, namely phonophoresis, electrophoresis, magnetotherapy, laser irradiation, electromyostimulation.
- Exercise therapy and massage. Physiotherapy exercises should be selected individually by a doctor for each patient. The duration of classes is at least 30 minutes.
Along with treatment, it is important to eat right and lead a healthy lifestyle. At home, you can use traditional medicine.
If the patient is obese, he must get rid of extra pounds. With DOA (deforming osteoarthrosis) it is important to abandon fatty, fried and spicy foods. Do not eat smoked meats, sausages and canned food. Healthy foods with vitamin B and C.
To restore cartilage, it is useful to eat jelly.
The disease is treated with such medicines:
- chondroprotectors for restoration of cartilage tissue – Chondroitin, hyaluronic acid;
- painkillers – Nimesulide, Meloxicam, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac.
With severe pain, hormonal drugs are administered intraarticularly. To eliminate localized pains, it is better to use gels and ointments, for example, Voltaren-emulgel, Finalgon, Apizatron.
To maintain small joints of the legs and hands, treatment with chondroprotectors is long, up to 3-4 months.
If the joint is badly worn, then conservative therapy is not enough. They resort to surgery. A worn joint is replaced with a prosthesis.
Endoprosthetics is possible only on large joints.
Since the disease affects several articular joints at the same time, it is dangerous. The most common complication of the disease is a spindle-shaped curvature of the fingers and toes.
There are also serious consequences in the form of lameness, limitation of mobility and disability.
When is disability possible?
With polyosteoarthrosis, a patient may be assigned 3 disability groups:
- Group I is assigned with a significant restriction of the mobility of a large joint, for example, of a hip or knee, as well as with the development of paralysis, as a result of which the patient cannot serve himself;
- Group II is reserved for patients with severe joint deformity (stage 4 disease), static and movement disorders, and also with the development of complications from internal organs and systems;
- Group III is assigned for frequent and prolonged periods of exacerbation, when complications arise in the form of periarthritis, reactive synovitis, etc.
For the prevention of severe consequences of the disease, it is worth following these recommendations:
- follow a diet, exclude high-calorie foods from the diet so as not to gain excess weight;
- go swimming;
- lead an active lifestyle; morning jogging and exercise are useful;
- Do not carry heaviness;
- long time not to be in one position.
The most important preventive measures after the age of 40 years.
If you experience pain in the joint, you should immediately go to the hospital. The disease is easier to treat while cartilage damage is minor.
Polyosteoarthrosis is an incurable disease, but with timely and proper treatment it is possible to achieve remission for several years.
Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.
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