Degenerative changes in the joints, gradually leading to its destruction and loss of mobility, occur under the influence of hereditary pathologies, acquired ailments and under the influence of external factors. A large group of pathologies of different joints, which have a different origin, but are similar in development methods, have a scientific name - arthrosis. Depending on the neglect of the disease, four stages are distinguished, which have their own signs of arthrosis.
The mechanism of development of arthritic pathologies
The impetus for the start of the pathological process is blood flow disorders. The capillaries, which are located in the subchondral layer of the periosteum and are designed to provide cartilage nutrition together with the articular fluid, do not fully fulfill their function. Limited intake of nutrients provokes dystrophic changes in cartilage.
A gradual decrease in elasticity and thinning of the cartilage, the appearance of cracks and roughness, deterioration of sliding due to a decrease in the volume of synovial fluid lead to pain and crunch during movement. The progress of the disease is accompanied by a decrease in the width of the joint space, the appearance of bone spikes-osteophytes and a decrease in the amplitude of motion.
Thus, there is an age-related deformity of the joints associated with the physiological aging of the body. Arthrosis, which have post-traumatic, post-infectious, metabolic and intoxication origins, develop differently under the influence of other factors, but the results of cartilage destruction and joint damage are similar in all cases.
Symptoms of the initial stage of arthrosis
At the onset of the disease, there are no pronounced symptoms. Patients observe deviations in the form of:
- Stiffness, difficulty in moving joints after rest, in the morning, which disappear on their own as a result of physical activity.
- Minor, rare mobility restrictions.
- Painless crunching of joints resulting from sudden exertion.
- Pain after significant and prolonged exertion, disappearing as a result of rest.
X-ray images do not show significant deviations, except for minor narrowing of the joint space, barely noticeable osteophytes along the edge of the joint. Treatment of a disease that has symptoms of the initial stage of arthrosis consists in taking chondroprotectors and vitamin complexes to restore nutrition and cartilage structure. Much attention in the treatment and prevention of exacerbations is paid to remedial gymnastics, proper nutrition.
Signs of the second stage of arthrosis
The development of the disease leads to the appearance of significant, acute pain, which requires immediate treatment, and has severe symptoms, manifested:
- severe cracking of joints during any movement;
- noticeable limitation of motor ability;
- functional shortening of limbs;
- a change in the biomechanics of movements with partial preservation of mobility;
- reinforced starting pains;
- constant fatigue and a feeling of pressure, heaviness in the affected organ;
- the occurrence of "mechanical pain", provoked by a decrease in the depreciation capacity of cartilage in the joint;
- partial deformation of the joints.
X-rays show the appearance of significant osteophytes, a decrease in joint spaces by more than half, sclerotic changes in the bone, the formation of cystic cavities. Treatment is aimed at reducing pain, eliminating inflammatory processes, improving the condition of cartilage tissue, slowing down degenerative processes.
Symptoms of the third stage
In the third stage, competent constant treatment of the disease is required, since it relates to a severe version of arthrosis and is manifested:
- Significant deformation of the joints, accompanied by proliferation of bones, accumulation of fluid.
- A significant limitation of mobility.
- Sharp pain during movements, at rest, which are caused by muscle cramps and the appearance of the Reuters triad, which includes reactive arthritis and synovitis.
- Inflammation of the joint.
The pictures show changes expressed by the complete disappearance of the joint spaces, multiple osteophytes, and surface deformation. Destruction within the articular parts, abrasion of the cartilage, manifestations of sclerosis are observed.
Patients experience pain when walking, especially when climbing stairs, lose their ability to self-care, become dependent on weather conditions. The crunch accompanies every movement and is even heard by others. Treatment of the acute period is aimed at relieving pain and inflammation, for which NSAIDs, analgesics are used. Further treatment includes, as far as possible, restoration of working capacity, improvement of blood flow and metabolism.
Manifestations of the fourth stage of arthrosis
The final destruction of the joints is seen at the last stage of arthrosis. The main symptoms of the disease are expressed in the form:
- An acute pain syndrome that interferes with even minimal movement.
- Intolerable pain, the treatment of which with painkillers and potent drugs is ineffective.
- Complete jointing of the joint, the formation of a false joint, due to which patients lose the ability to move independently.
The fourth stage of arthrosis clearly implies a patient’s disability, the treatment involves replacing the joint with an artificial endoprosthesis. Modern methods of prosthetics and proper treatment help patients regain motor abilities and get rid of excruciating pains.
Rarely, arthrosis has a rapid development. The disease progresses in most cases quite gradually. Therefore, having discovered the first signs of such a serious disease, you should not attribute them to fatigue, but you should hurry to an experienced doctor. At the initial stages, it is possible not only to slow down the further development of pathology, but also to completely restore the functional capabilities of the joints with a gel Artrovexwhich helps eliminate inflammation in the joints.