Arthritis is a very common degenerative joint disease that leads to chronic pain, stiffness and swelling in the affected area, thereby curtailing the range of motion of the concerned joint and affecting the quality of life. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, the most common being Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Gout, Lupus and Back Pain.
Although it is usually associated with old-age, arthritis can affect people of all age groups. Middle-aged women are more likely to acquire the problem as compared to men, owing to a decrease in the levels of oestrogen after menopause.
Grading of Arthritis:
Grading of Arthritis refers to the various stages through which the disease progresses. This is very important as it helps to determine the proper medical protocol that is to be followed.
Stage I - This is the early stage of arthritis and is marked by slight joint pain, stiffness and swelling.
Treatment - The patient is usually recommended healthy lifestyle modification and physiotherapy. In some cases, pain killers may also be prescribed to help with pain and discomfort.
Stage II - This is the intermediate stageand involves gradual loss of the cartilage which leaves the underlying secondary bone exposed to the joint fluid. The intensity of the pain increases and it becomes more localised.
Treatment -The patient is prescribed steroids to reduce inflammation and swelling.
Stage III - This is the later stage. Cartilage erosion progresses further leaving behind loose bodies and debris in the affected area.
Treatment – Doctors usually recommend arthroscopy to remove the debris. Shaving may also be done to stimulate the growth of new cartilage.
Stage IV - This is the last stage of arthritis and is marked by localised movement and unbearable pain. In some cases, the patient might not be able to move at all. The joint is damaged beyond repair.
Treatment - Surgery is the only option left. Doctors may recommend total or partial knee replacement depending upon the area of the affected joint.
Partial Knee Replacement:
Partial knee replacement is a specialised surgical procedure that is recommended to patients whose joints are not damaged completely. Unlike total knee replacement, in which the complete joint is removed and replaced, partial knee replacement is a highly specialised procedure that aims at replacing only the damaged part of the joint, thereby preserving the rest of the knee. The prosthetic used in the procedure is specially designed
Whether your problem can be treated by partial joint replacement or not is decided by your surgeon after proper examination and screenings.
The procedure is performed under the influence of general or epidural anaesthesia and is less invasive as compared to total knee replacement.
How to keep your joints healthy
Unhealthy lifestyle choices and indulging in rigorous sports and activities can lead to daily wear and tear of our bones and joints. To avoid this it is important to make some changes in our lifestyle.
Avoid indulging in strenuous physical activities and lifting heavy objects. The unnecessary strain can harm your joints. This, however, does not mean that you have to follow a stagnant lifestyle. Stay active and keep moving. Go out for morning and evening walks, try activities like yoga, pilates and aerobics.
Change your diet. Eat food products rich in Calcium, Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, C and antioxidants.
Maintain a healthy weight. Studies have shown that obese people are more prone to develop arthritis as their joints are under tremendous strain.