The primary reason people have osteoarthritis in joints is due to the wear and tear of the joints, leading to the destruction of the articulating surface of the joint. It is often referred to as a degenerative joint disease. It can occur as a result of old age or due to being obese or because of an accident to that part of the body. It is the most common form of arthritis in the world, and it affects a lot of people. The situation may degenerate to the point that the best option will be to joint replacement surgery for the patient. There are typical occupations that predispose one to osteoarthritis, and also there are certain sports that can also put one at the risk of having osteoarthritis, especially the ones that involves putting pressure on the joints. Accidents can also lead to one being prone to this disease if it does not heal correctly or if it does not heal at all. Sometimes, it may also run in the family and may be transferred from one generation to another.
• Bow leg results because of the loss of the cartilages at the medial aspect of the knee, which are accompanied by tenderness and pain. • The formation of Heberden nodes at the tip of the fingers, on the location known as the distal interphalangeal joints, is characteristic of osteoarthritis. • The presence of Bouchard nodes visible in the middle of the fingers at the proximal interphalangeal joints is another feature of the disease. • Formation of Osteophytes at the joints which are more like addition bone formation called bone spurs. This could affect the knee joint or hip joints causing serious difficulty in movement. • Having a grating sensation that can be heard or felt when using the joint is another sign that one has osteoarthritis. • Subchondral sclerosis and cyst occur in the joints on the surface of the adjoining bones. • Narrowing of the joint spaces is observed on the radiograph as a result of the bones and cartilages being eroded gradually. • Pain in the weight-bearing region after use, probably after walking a long distance or using the joints over an extended period of time. • In Osteoarthritis there are no systemic symptoms.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease which erodes the surface of the bones and cartilages involved in the formation of joints. It causes a lot of pain in the individuals. They experience morning stiffness in their joints which does not stop for a period longer than an hour. The effect of the strain on the joints suffered by the patient is always symmetrical. It causes deformities and swelling of the soft tissues surrounding the joints, also narrowing the joint spaces. Typical treatment regimen to help the patient includes Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), glucocorticoids, disease-modifying agents like low dose methotrexate, and sulfasalazine
The exact cause of the disease is not known. However, environmental and genetic factors have been identified to be the causes of the disease. Autoimmunity is the main mechanism behind the development of the disease. The immune system attacks the healthy joint tissues, causing inflammation in the joints Physicians diagnose this disease by evaluating the signs and symptoms of the patient. Different tests are also carried out, to exclude other diseases that share similarities with rheumatoid arthritis. Some of these tests include a blood test, imaging tests and so on. In the blood test, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate and the C-reactive protein are checked. An increase would indicate the presence of an inflammatory reaction in the body.
To diagnose rheumatoid arthritis medical examinations are carried out, family history is monitored, and several blood tests are done to look for HLA-DR4 markers and ACPA (Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Antibody) and most importantly rheumatoid factor. Radiographs are also prescribed to see the level of damage already done to the joints and the level of inflammation of the synovial joint. When physicians are diagnosing osteoarthritis, one of the most important things they do is to order X-rays and MRIs scans for the patient. These scans are meant to provide information regarding the degree of degradation and havoc done to the joints already. Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, the diagnosis of osteoarthritis cannot be confirmed by blood examinations. How Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated? There is no cure for this disease. However, medications are usually given to improve the symptoms, and also slow down the progression of the disease. Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic agents are the first line drugs in the treatment of rheumatic arthritis and have been the most effective medication for the disease. They are capable of reducing and stopping the progression of the disease. Although, it’s best to combine them with pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs. Examples include Methotrexate: They work by improving the symptoms. They are anti-folate drugs. References "Handout on Health: Rheumatoid Arthritis." National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. August 2014. Archived from the original on June 30, 2015. Retrieved July 2, 2015. Majithia V, Geraci SA (2007). "Rheumatoid arthritis: diagnosis and management." Am. J. Med. 120 (11): 936–9. PMID 17976416. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2007.04.005.