What is Arthritis?
The word “Arthritis” is derived the Greek words arthro-
It is in fact a group of conditions where there is inflammation of one or more of the many joints of the body. This damage can arise from a number of causes:
Wear and tear of the joint, related to injury, activity, and the normal ageing process.
As is seen in immune related disorders causing
inflammation of the joint.
Damage to the joint from bacterial infections.
Damage and inflammation of the joint caused by
These are all forms of “arthritis” but by far the commonest cause is the wear and tear variety or osteoarthritis.
Ultimately the damage caused to the soft tissues and the articular cartilage that lines the end of the bones that make up a joint create pain, deformity and swelling.
Whatever the background cause, the end result of advanced arthritis may look very
much the same regardless. Patients will complain of pain on movement, deformity and
stiffness. The symptoms may vary in their severity from very mild to severe symptoms
when the patient’s quality of life and day-
Surgical treatment is not normally recommended for arthritis in its early stages, as there are often quite effective medical treatments. Arthritis does not always progress or may progress very slowly, so that not everybody who suffers from arthritis will need treatment of a surgical nature.
However there are some patients for whom the symptoms are no longer tolerable or for whom medical treatment is no longer providing satisfactory relief.
For these patients,surgical reconstruction of the joint can offer substantial gains in the quality of life for a relatively small risk.