What Does Rheumatology Treatment Mean?
The branch of medicine dealing the diagnosis and treatment planning of the joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons is called as rheumatology. It runs parallel with the branch of orthopedics, pertains to joint paining, swelling and degenerations, tearing of the muscles, ligaments and tendons. Team MedcureIndia briefs its clients on the subject in the following lines.
Causes of Rheumatology Disorders:
- Degenerative: Certain joint disorders occur due to friction in the bones owing to loss of synovial fluid which otherwise keeps the frictional forces within normal limits. This causes roughening/wearing out and degeneration of the surfaces of bones leading to uneven surface such as in cases of osteoarthritis.
- Inflammatory: This occurs due to inflammation of the epithelial lining of the joints causing tremendous pain, swelling and limited movements. It may also occur due to deposition of waste products in the synovial membrane which otherwise would have been excreted from the human body. These include diseases like ankylosing spondylitis, gout.
- Soft tissue factor: A lot many times, local lesions and growths adjacent to the joints, muscles, ligaments, capsules or tendons may cause swelling and pain in these structures such as that found in cases like tennis elbow, lower back pain.
- Systemic diseases and connective tissue disorders: Joint disorders also can occur secondary to systemic diseases which leads to rupturing of blood vessels in the synovial membrane, reduced amount of connective tissue fibers and fibroblasts in the connecting membrane. E.g in cases of scleroderma, ploymyositis
- Auto immume disorders in which the body produces cells to destroy its own tissues can also lead to rheumatic diseases.
Signs & Symptoms of Rheumatology Disorders:
Arthritis which is pain and swelling of joints can affect any part in the human body including hands, wrists, knees, ankles, toes, feet, neck and back. Often the symptoms are quite similar which are as follows:
- Joint pain and tenderness
- Limited range of movements
- Discomfort while performing daily activities
- Warmth, redness and swelling over the joints
- General body ache, fever, lethargy, uneasiness
Diagnostic Tests For Rheumatology Disorders:
Lab tests: These are blood tests which are used to study the erythrocyte sedimentation rate ESR, C reactive protein CRP and anti cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies. These factors help in the estimation of the presence and degree of inflammation present in the body.
Imaging tests: These are the routine x-rays, CTs and MRIs of the joints which enable the rheumatologist to view the joints and associated structures and determine the course of action.
Types of Rheumatology Disorders:
- Ankylosing spondylitis: It is a chronic long lasting disease of the spine leading to permanent stiffness in the back. The ligaments and tendons are inflamed and the bones may fuse in the long term.
- Bursitis: A small fluid filled sac present in the joints is used to reduce the friction when joint movements occur. A swelling and tenderness of these bursae is known as bursitis.
- Gout: It is the accumulation of crystals of uric acid in the synovial membranes of joints leading to pain, swelling and inflammation.
- Infectious arthritis: These are the forms of arthritis which occur due bacterial and viral infections such as parvovirus arthritis and lyme disease respectively.
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis: It is the most common type of arthritis occurring in children. It is followed by limping during walking, pain, tenderness in joints with mild to high grade fever
- Osteoarthritis: It is a condition in which degeneration of the cartilage in the joint takes place. Cartilage helps in the cushioning of the joint during the various movements it performs. As a result of cartilage breakdown, the friction between the joint bones increases leading to pain and tenderness
- Osteoporosis: This is a condition in which the bones become fragile due to a decrease in the bone mass and density.
- Polymyalgia rheumatic PMR: It is a condition of extreme pain and tenderness in the muscles, ligaments, tendons or capsules around a joint majorly in the neck, hip and ankle area.
- Polymyositis: It is an extensive involvement of the muscles of the entire body leading to pain and tenderness in overall musculature leading to a permanent disability.
- Psoriatic arthritis: It is a chronic condition of inflammation of the joints and skin.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: It is a condition which causes inflammation of the lining of the synovial membrane of the joints. It may lead to a long term damage and disability to perform normal functions. It mostly affects the joints of hands and legs.
- Scleroderma: It is a condition of over production of collagen fibers in the joints leading to excessive stiffening and hardening of the joints with limited movements.
- Systemic lupus erythmatosus: It affects the muscles and joints leading to extensive inflammation owing to viral infections and a hypo active immune system
- Tendinitis: It is the swelling of the tendons, may occur post trauma or an adjunct to synovial membrane inflammation causing pain and tenderness in the area.
Treatment of Rheumatolgy Disorders:
- Most rheumatic diseases are treated with a variety of medicines available under the knowledge of a rheumatologist. These include:
- Analgesics and non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
- Disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs, monoclonal antibodies for extreme conditions can also be given
- One of the recent advances is in the anti B cell therapy in which biologic agents are administered in rheumatic cases.
- This is done under the supervision of a physiotherapist where the patient is asked to do a variety of movements with the affected joint in particular so as to make his daily activities simpler and easier.
- Surgical management:
- It is also called as rheuma surgery or rheumatoid surgery. It can be done in collaboration with an orthopedic intervention where the entire approach aims at increasing the range of movements, relieve pain and subside swelling of the affected joint or joints.
- It is broadly divided into two major groups. The first is preventive or the early synovectomies which remove the inflamed synovial membrane and halt the progress of the diseases. The second group is the corrective approach in which the degenerative and inflammatory changes have already taken place. These include joint replacements such as knee replacement and hip replacement where an artificial patella is placed in the knee joint, removal of loose bone and cartilage fragments, repositioning and stabilizing the bone fragments.
Complications & Risk Factors Associated With Rheumatology Disorders:
- Increasing age and obesity are risk factors for joint diseases
- High blood pressure, diabetes and asthma may delay the surgical procedures
- Knee and hip replacements may face dislocations after trauma and falls in the particular areas
Success Rate in India:
Long term medications give symptomatic relief in around 80 percent of cases. Rheumatic surgeries like knee and hip replacement are successful in 78.34 and 56,89 percent cases respectively.
Team MedcureIndia is undoubtedly an efficient platform which projects the finest medical treatments done all across the globe. We direct our clients to one of these highly qualified team of medical professionals who whole heartedly invest their time for the betterment of their patients.