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Degrees of arthrosis: symptoms, risks of complications
Degrees of arthrosis: symptoms, risks of complications

Medical statistics of the last decade have firmly secured the third place in prevalence for arthrosis. Only cardiovascular diseases and oncology are ahead in frequency of cases.

Indeed, almost 80% of the adult population of the Earth sooner or later reach such an age when the cartilaginous tissue of the joints and periarticular tissue slowly begins to deform and disintegrate.

Common symptoms and causes of the problem

The first signs of a progressive disease are "bumps" on the sides of the joint. This is especially noticeable on the fingers. It is a misconception that deforming arthrosis simply leads to the deposition of salts in the joint with age.

In part, salts are present there, but the growth of cartilage tissue, which disrupts blood flow and metabolism inside the joint, leads to pain and subsequently to immobility.

If earlier it was believed that deforming arthrosis was a primordial senile disease, today it is not uncommon when degenerative inflammatory processes make themselves felt even at the age of 40 years. More often this applies to athletes, but also people of other, not extreme professions - loaders, hairdressers, salesmen, office workers are no exception.

Those who are overweight are at risk. That is, the disease ahead of time can overtake the one who imposes an exorbitant load on certain joints, or, on the contrary, loads them too little, due to which stagnation of synovial fluid occurs. Experts state that the load itself is not so much terrible as its unevenness.

And yet, arthrosis is not a sentence and it develops extremely slowly. It's just that the majority begins to take action only when the pain becomes unbearable. But in the case of arthrosis, the rule is that it is easier to prevent than to cure, it is also relevant. At some point, it may be worthwhile to think about changing the profession and then restorative mechanisms will be able to prevail over the processes of destruction. In fact, the natural defenses of the human body are strong enough, but not unlimited.

Arthrosis of the first degree: how to recognize the first signs of the disease

At stage I of arthrosis, there are still no external signs, the so-called Heberden's nodules. Joint mobility is also normal. At first, the pain occurs only with heavy loads, but at rest it passes. Sometimes a crunch can be heard during physical activity.

However, healthy joints can also crackle. But an experienced doctor will certainly be able to determine that there is an initial degree of arthrosis, even by the sound of a crunch. In the case of this pathology, it is "dry", muffled. The older the disease, the clearer the crunch. The difficulty of early diagnosis lies in the fact that at the initial stage of the disease, the X-ray does not show any pathological changes in the cartilage tissue. The joint gap is also practically not narrowed.

There is neither swelling in the area of pain, nor a feeling of heat, which is often accompanied by an inflammatory process. And the aching pain during physical exertion and rapid fatigue can be easily attributed to age. At an early stage, as mentioned above, sometimes it is enough to remove the causes of arthrosis and the process can be stopped.

Unfortunately, it will not be possible to completely recover, even with a mild degree, but it is really possible to significantly slow down development. It is worth noting that there may be no subsequent degrees of arthrosis at all, if at the first signs of the onset of the disease, the lifestyle is changed and appropriate treatment is carried out.

It, as a rule, includes a set of anti-inflammatory measures and physiotherapy.

The first step is to need chondroprotective drugs that normalize the structure of the damaged cartilage:

  • Teraflex;
  • Don;
  • Arthron flex;
  • Alflutop.

The latter is an injection form. There are a great many drugs in this group, but it is with stage 1 pathology that these are prescribed. The course of treatment is quite long. It is necessary that the cartilage tissue is "nourished" with the necessary substances and the process begins to reverse. Pain at the initial degree will help relieve analgesics or ointments.

For a lasting result, you will need at least six months of complex treatment. Moreover, if you are late with the use of chondroprotectors, then the development of the disease will follow the most negative scenario - further destruction of the joint, severe pathology.

To maintain physical activity, physiotherapy exercises and therapeutic massage are prescribed in parallel. The use of traditional medicine is not prohibited, but it is not worth relying on them completely. Simple recipes based on dandelion, elecampane, celandine juice, gruel of grated horseradish root will only help to "break" salt deposits and activate blood flow, but they will not help to restore cartilage even at an initial degree. Even if compresses are used with the addition of crushed eggshells.

Particular attention should be paid to nutrition. Although a special diet for mild pathology is not provided, a balanced, varied diet is recommended, which is not only aimed at losing weight in excess, but also saturated with proteins and gelatin-containing products. The correct menu is especially welcome if the disease has arisen against the background of a metabolic failure. Thus, it is possible to block the production of enzymes that provoke inflammation.

Stage II arthrosis: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment

At the second stage of arthrosis, the signs of the disease are already easily determined. An X-ray or MRI is prescribed for examination, but deformation disorders, although they are of a partial nature, are already visible to the naked eye. Blood flow is clearly impaired in the joint and swelling is observed. With minor movements, a crunch is heard and pain is felt.

Often at the second stage, patients note meteorological dependence. And the treatment, which took place at the previous degree, practically does not help. It makes no sense to apply folk recipes at all, except as pain relievers, which, for example, is a cabbage leaf with honey, applied at night.

As for drug treatment, the effect can be provided in a complex by application, systemic and intra-articular methods of influencing the joint. To relieve acute pain at the beginning of treatment with the second degree of pathology, anesthetic injections directly into the joint are used as an emergency measure. This helps to reduce pain and acute inflammation.

Application therapy involves a complex of warming and anti-inflammatory drugs, the so-called NSAIDs - non-hormonal (non-steroidal) anti-inflammatory drugs:

  • Diclofenac (Voltaren, Ortofen);
  • Indomethacin (Brufen, Ibuprofen);
  • Movalis;
  • Bystrumgel;
  • Nise;
  • Fastum and others.

There are both tablets and ointments based on NSAIDs. This list is far from complete and every day more and more drugs of a similar effect appear. Of the above, Movalis is a new generation drug that acts gently and as effectively as possible, which is very important for long-term therapy.

In addition to non-steroids, drugs are used to dilate blood vessels; treatment with chondroprotectors is definitely present. From physiotherapy, UHF, phonophoresis or magnetic laser therapy are prescribed. There are cases when, even with the 2nd degree of the disease, the patient is shown surgical intervention, but most often the case is managed with inpatient complex treatment.

At the 2nd degree of arthrosis, the return of joint mobility is possible. The main thing is to approach the treatment responsibly and follow all the doctor's prescriptions. And this means that along with drug therapy, alcohol, spicy, fatty, smoked foods should be excluded from the diet.

Pectin-rich foods are welcome:

  • a variety of vegetables;
  • peeled fruit;
  • seaweed.

An increase in the diet of micro- and macroelements, amino acids, vitamins is extremely necessary.

III degree: characteristic features of the disease

I must say that, depending on the joint affected by arthrosis, there are either 3 or 4 stages of the disease. For example, with a hip lesion, grade 4 does not exist, because disability is already assigned at 3. But in the case of the knee joint, there is also stage 4 of the disease. A negligent attitude to one's health or incorrect treatment initially can lead to stage 3. The patient, as a rule, experiences unbearable pain even at rest.

But even during this period, a decision on surgical intervention is not immediately made, but treatment is carried out in all sorts of conservative ways. Only when the destruction of the joint is fraught with irreversible consequences for the surrounding tissues, salvation is possible only with the help of surgery.

When the treatment is carried out with medication, intensive methods are selected at 3 stages of arthrosis. To block the spread of the inflammatory process, medications are injected into the focus. In addition to anti-inflammatory drugs, hormonal drugs can be prescribed.

Chondroprotectors are necessary at any stage of the disease as a building material for new cartilage tissue. Means that activate blood circulation and metabolic processes are also used in the form of injections. Laser therapy is needed to enhance the effect of drugs.

If a prompt resolution of the problem is shown, then today there are several methods:

  • arthrodesis;
  • arthroscopy;
  • osteotomy;
  • endoprosthetics.

With minor lesions, arthroscopy is often used, when cartilage or bone growths are removed using a miniature optical device, and ligaments are restored.

At stage 3, arthroplasty is already necessary.

It allows for partial or complete replacement of a destroyed joint with an implant. This method is most often used in modern surgery, because all others are regarded as a temporary measure. Especially if the disease is in an advanced phase.

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