In this modern world, the humanity is not only under the threat of global economy, social or civil crises but also abiding advance health problems, those are affecting the entire population. As the name suggests, osteo means bone and arthritis is the inflammation and stiffening. So basically, osteoarthritis is the chronic inflammation and stiffening of joints. It’s an old age disease which includes all the large weight-bearing joints such as hip and knee.
Almost every adult above 50 years of age have some physical and mental health-related changes. Below here are few imperative acknowledgments regarding the utmost general issue of osteoarthritis:
Factors affecting the development of osteoarthritis:
- First and most important risk factor for osteoarthritis is age.
- A strong family history such as mother, sister, father, brother may interfere.
- The hip joint is affected more by men and knees in females. And accordingly, males are more prone to develop arthritis below 50 years and after this female ratio is more.
- Continuous and overuse of particular joint may be a cause.
- Some activities and occupations may be a risk factor in which constant use of a particular joint is involved such as walking, stairs climbing or lifting.
- Posture is one of the most important things for everyone, a bad posture may initiate it.
- Some past medical history, for example, diabetes or hypothyroidism is a risk factor.
- As obesity is a risk factor for many diseases, it is one of the factors for arthritis as well.
- Poor diet in calcium and vitamin D intake.
- History of previous trauma or fracture.
Approach to the patient:
However, coming across an old patient in clinical setup, some common complains are encountered.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis:
- Constant pain in both knee joints or a single knee may be affected.
- Back pain on changing position such as standing from sitting position.
- More pain after getting up from a bed.
- Morning stiffness in large joints.
- Pain on sitting with crossed legs on the floor.
- Swelling of knees.
Clinical approach of the medical practitioner:
When patient complaining of above symptoms came in the outpatient department, initial step taken by the practitioner is observing:
- Other signs of inflammation excluding other diseases.
Next step is laboratory tests.
In x-ray, some changes are noticed. It is the initial as well as the confirmatory test which is enough for diagnosis.
- Reduced joint spaces.
- Osteophytes are seen
Magnetic resonance imaging(MRI):
It is neither a test of choice nor recommended in many cases. It is an exposure of radio waves which give detailed information of soft tissues and cartilages.
These changes develop with the passage of time.
There is no specific blood test for its diagnosis but an exclusion can be made by doing RA factor, antics, CBC, ESR, TLC counts etc. These tests exclude other forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid and septic arthritis or gout.
Joint fluid aspiration:
Fluid aspiration can be done in order to see inflammation in it.
Management of patient:
First and most important part of treatment is lifestyle modification. However, educating the patient is the essential step such as:
- A patient should be encouraged to use a commode.
- Sitting on the bed should be advised and avoidance of sitting on the floor with bent knees or cross legs should be told.
- Always prefer sitting on the chair.
- Weight loss counseling.
- Overuse of joint should be avoided.
A nurse should be hired or refer to a physiotherapist in order to perform some exercises. Continuous physiotherapy for 3 to 6 months is advised.
When a patient comes to you, his basic need is to make him pain-free.
- Painkillers such as acetaminophen should be given. In severe pain, injections can be given.
- Calcium supplements once a day should be prescribed.
- Vitamin D available in oral or injectable forms should be added.
Patients compliance and his caretakers most probably a nurse work together for best results.
Emma Watson is the health and wellbeing mentor working in the national safeguard department of health in the United Kingdom. Moreover, she offers her private academic assistance at Online essay help UK for the betterment of all students across the globe.