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[Up] [Anatomy joints] [Types of arthritis] [Spondylosis] [Investigations] [Management  arthritis] [Physiotherapy modern] [Joint strengthening] [Exercises 1] [Exercises 2] [Newer medicines] [Questions answered]

Management of arthritis

 

How are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis treated ?

Many treatments for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are similar. 

 

 The goals of the treatments are to: 

  • Relieve pain. 

  • Minimize joint destruction.

  • Maintain the range of motion in the joint, and 

  • Increase the strength of the joint.

 

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Drugs such as salicylates (aspirin) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. 

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Steroids, which are injected directly into the joint, may also be used. 

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Steroids may also be given orally to patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but not to those with osteoarthritis.

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Good nutrition and careful weight control are important, especially for patients who are overweight.

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Hot and cold treatments ,ultrasound treatments and particularly Short wave diathermy (SWD) are used to relieve pain and improve joint flexibility.

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Exercises are prescribed to strengthen the muscles and tissues supporting the joint and to maintain as much joint motion as possible.

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The use of crutches, canes, or walkers may be prescribed to protect the joints from stress. Splints are also used to maintain proper joint positions.

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Learning less stressful ways to accomplish daily activities and home management are part of the treatment process.

 

Surgical treatment.

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The most common surgical treatment for osteoarthritis is total joint replacement. 

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Hip joints are the most commonly and successfully replaced joints, but the elbow, shoulder, knee, and ankle joints can also be replaced. 

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With rheumatoid arthritis, the first surgical treatment is removal of the synovium; total joint replacement is a later alternative.

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Arthroplasty  the surgical reconstruction or replacement of a painful, broken-down joint.

 

Arthroplasty

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returns movement to a joint with joint disease (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis). It can correct an inborn defect. 

 

Two basic types of Arthroplasty are: 

  1. The bones of the joint are reshaped and soft tissue or a metal disk is placed between the reshaped ends.

  2. All or part of the joint is replaced with a metal or plastic joint.

 

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