Joint Arthropathy

Arthropathy is a joint disease, of which arthritis is a type. Arthropathies can be associated with a hematologic (blood) disorder or an infection, such as Lyme disease.

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Joint Arthropathy

Arthropathy is a joint disease, of which arthritis is a type. Arthropathies can be associated with a hematologic (blood) disorder or an infection, such as Lyme disease.

Symptoms

  • Joint swelling, stiffness
  • Reduced range of motion

Osteoarthritis can’t be reversed, but treatments can reduce pain and help you move better.

Medications

Medications that can help relieve osteoarthritis symptoms, primarily pain, include:

  • Acetaminophen. Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) has been shown to help some people with osteoarthritis who have mild to moderate pain. Taking more than the recommended dose of acetaminophen can cause liver damage.
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta). Normally used as an antidepressant, this medication is also approved to treat chronic pain, including osteoarthritis pain.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve), taken at the recommended doses, typically relieve osteoarthritis pain. Stronger NSAIDs are available by prescription.NSAIDs can cause stomach upset, cardiovascular problems, bleeding problems, and liver and kidney damage. NSAIDs as gels, applied to the skin over the affected joint, have fewer side effects and may relieve pain just as well.

Surgical and
other procedures

If conservative treatments don’t help, you might want to consider procedures such as:

  • Cortisone injections. Injections of a corticosteroid into your joint might relieve pain for a few weeks. Your doctor numbs the area around your joint, then places a needle into the space within your joint and injects medication. The number of cortisone injections you can receive each year is generally limited to three or four, because the medication can worsen joint damage over time.
  • Lubrication injections. Injections of hyaluronic acid might relieve pain by providing some cushioning in your knee, though some research suggests that these injections offer no more relief than a placebo. Hyaluronic acid is similar to a component normally found in your joint fluid.
  • Realigning bones. If osteoarthritis has damaged one side of your knee more than the other, an osteotomy might be helpful. In a knee osteotomy, a surgeon cuts across the bone either above or below the knee, and then removes or adds a wedge of bone. This shifts your body weight away from the worn-out part of your knee.
  • Joint replacement. In joint replacement surgery, your surgeon removes your damaged joint surfaces and replaces them with plastic and metal parts. Surgical risks include infections and blood clots. Artificial joints can wear out or come loose and might eventually need to be replaced.

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