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Aging Disorders: OSTEOARTHRITIS. OSTEOARTHRITIS. Normal Sinovial Joint Function Why the Elderly Are Susceptible Osteoarthritis (OA) What is Osteoarthritis? Etiology Pathogenesis Morphology Clinical Significance Osteoarthritis at a Glance. Normal Synovial Joint Function.

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osteoarthritis
OSTEOARTHRITIS
  • Normal Sinovial Joint Function
  • Why the Elderly Are Susceptible
  • Osteoarthritis (OA)
    • What is Osteoarthritis?
    • Etiology
    • Pathogenesis
    • Morphology
    • Clinical Significance
  • Osteoarthritis at a Glance
normal synovial joint function
Normal Synovial Joint Function
  • A joint is where two bones meet and articulate. Mobile joints in the body require the synergy of muscles, ligaments, and tendons to enable their full range of motion.
  • A mobile joint may have more than one type of movement, such as the elbow which comprises a both a hinge and pivot joint
normal synovial joint function4
Normal Synovial Joint Function
  • The synovial joints include:
normal synovial joint function5
Normal Synovial Joint Function

The articulation surfaces of these mobile joints, called synovial joints, have a smooth layer of cartilage to (1) allow virtually friction-free movement, and (2) spread the load evenly in weight-bearing joints.

In a healthy joint, the ends of bones are encased in smooth cartilage. Together, they are protected by a joint capsule lined with a synovial membrane that produces synovial fluid. The capsule and fluid protect the cartilage, muscles, and connective tissues.

normal synovial joint function6
Normal Synovial Joint Function

Cartilage is a protein substance that serves as a "cushion" between the bones of the joints.

Chondrocytes maintain the matrix of type II collagen and proteoglycans to give cartilage its elasticity and high tensile strength.

why the elderly are susceptible
Why the Elderly Are Susceptible
  • Articular cartilage cells exhibit wear and tear with aging:
    • Chondrocytes decrease in number
    • Chondrocyte synthesis and metabolic activity decreases
    • Water content in cartilage decreases
    • Collagen fibers cross-link and expand
    • Cartilage matrix becomes increasingly granular
    • Cartilage may soften, split, and fragment with subsequent ossification
    • Increased amyloid is deposited
what is osteoarthritis
What is osteoarthritis?
  • Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that is caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of the cartilage of one or more joints. Osteoarthritis commonly affects the hands, feet, spine, and large weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees. Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative arthritis.
  • Among the over 100 different types of arthritis conditions, osteoarthritis is the most common, affecting over 20 million people in the United States. Osteoarthritis occurs more frequently as we age. Before age 45, osteoarthritis occurs more frequently in males. After age 55 years, it occurs more frequently in females. In the United States, all races appear equally affected. A higher incidence of osteoarthritis exists in the Japanese population, while South African blacks, East Indians and Southern Chinese have lower rates.
etiology
Etiology
  • Most cases of osteoarthritis have no known cause and are referred to as idiopathic or primary osteoarthritis. This is the most common type in the elderly.
  • When the cause of the osteoarthritis is known, the condition is referred to as secondary osteoarthritis. This occurs in about 5% of cases in which there is a predisposing condition. These conditions include trauma to a joint, muscle weakness, developmental deformity of a joint, diabetes, ochronosis, hemochromatosis, or marked obesity.
pathogenesis
Pathogenesis

Over time, the cartilage deteriorates, and its smooth surface roughens. Eventually, if the cartilage wears down completely, you may be left with bone rubbing on bone — causing the ends of your bones to become damaged and your joints to become painful.

Your body goes to work repairing the damage, but the repairs may be inadequate, resulting instead in growth of new bone along the sides of the existing bone, which produces prominent lumps, most noticeable on hands and feet. Each of the steps in this repair process produces pain. The pain and tenderness over the bony lumps may be most marked early in the course of the disease and less evident later on.

pathogenesis11
Pathogenesis
  • Aging and Mechanical Effects
    • Increasing frequency of OA with advancing age
    • The cartilage damage may be due to a mechanical stress that results in an imbalance of enzymes released from the cartilage cells or from the lining of the joint. When balanced, these enzymes allow for the natural breakdown and regeneration of cartilage. But too much of the enzymes can cause the joint cartilage to break down faster than it's rebuilt. (Much like altered bone remodeling in osteoporosis.)
  • Genetic Factors
    • May be linked to chromosomes 2 and 11
  • Other Factors
    • Risk increased in direct proportion to bone density
    • High levels of estrogen
    • Hereditary conditions such as defective cartilage and malformed joints
    • Joint injuries caused by work or sports
    • Obesity
    • Diseases that change the structure and function of cartilage (rheumatoid arthritis, hemochromatosis, Paget's disease, gout or pseudogout
morphology
Morphology
  • Chondrocytes proliferate with biochemical changes as the water content of the matrix increases and the concentration of proteoglycans decreases. Vertical and horizontal fibrillation and cracking of the matrix occur as the outside layers of cartilage are degraded. It has a granular articular surface that is softer than normal.
  • After all of the cartilage layers are sloughed off, the exposed bone becomes the new articular surface. Friction smooths and burnishes exposed bone (bone eburnation). Rebuttressing and sclerosis of underlying cancellous bone.
  • Fracture gaps allow synovial fluid to be forced into the subchondral regions. The fluid collects in fibrous walled cysts. Mushroom-shaped osteophytes (bony outgrowths) develop at the margins of articular surface and are capped by fibrocartilage and hyaline cartilage that gradually ossify.
morphology13
Morphology
  • Small fractures occur in the articulating bone and dislodged pieces of cartilage and subchondral bone appear in the joint, forming loose bodies or joint mice.
  • The synovium shows minor alterations in comparison to the destruction of the articular surface and is congested and fibrotic and may have scattered chronic inflammatory cells.
  • In severe OA, a fibrous synovial pannus covers the peripheral portions of the articular surface.
clinical significance
Clinical Significance
  • The most common symptom of osteoarthritis is pain in the affected joint(s) after repetitive use. Joint pain is usually worse later in the day. There can be swelling, warmth, and creaking of the affected joints. Pain and stiffness of the joints can also occur after long periods of inactivity, for example, sitting in a theater. In severe osteoarthritis, complete loss of cartilage cushion causes friction between bones, causing pain at rest or pain with limited motion.
  • Symptoms of osteoarthritis vary greatly from patient to patient. Some patients can be debilitated by their symptoms. On the other hand, others may have remarkably few symptoms in spite of dramatic degeneration of the joints apparent on x-rays. Symptoms also can be intermittent. It is not unusual for patients with osteoarthritis of the hands and knees to have years of pain-free intervals between symptoms.
  • There is no blood test for the diagnosis of osteoarthritis. Blood tests are performed to exclude diseases that can cause secondary osteoarthritis, as well as to exclude other arthritis conditions that can mimic osteoarthritis.
clinical significance15
Clinical Significance
  • X-rays of the affected joints can suggest osteoarthritis. The common x-ray findings of osteoarthritis include loss of joint cartilage, narrowing of the joint space between adjacent bones, and bone spur formation. Simple x-ray testing can be very helpful to exclude other causes of pain in a particular joint as well as assist the decision-making as to when surgical intervention should be considered.
  • Arthrocentesis is often performed in the doctor's office. During arthrocentesis, a sterile needle is used to remove joint fluid for analysis. Joint fluid analysis is useful in excluding gout, infection, and other causes of arthritis. Removal of joint fluid and injection of corticosteroids into the joints during arthrocentesis can help relieve pain, swelling, and inflammation.
  • Arthroscopy is a surgical technique where a doctor inserts a viewing tube into the joint space. Abnormalities and damage to the cartilage and ligaments can be detected and sometimes repaired through the arthroscope. If successful, patients can recover from the arthroscopic surgery much more quickly than from open joint surgery.
  • Finally, a careful analysis of the location, duration, and character of the joint symptoms and the appearance of the joints helps the doctor in diagnosing osteoarthritis. Bony enlargement of the joints from spur formations is characteristic of osteoarthritis. Therefore, Heberden's nodes, Bouchard's nodes, and bunions of the feet can help the doctor make a diagnosis of osteoarthritis.
clinical significance16
Clinical Significance
  • Aside from weight reduction and avoiding activities that exert excessive stress on the joint cartilage, there is no specific treatment to halt cartilage degeneration or to repair damaged cartilage in osteoarthritis. The goal of treatment in osteoarthritis is to reduce joint pain and inflammation while improving and maintaining joint function. Some patients with osteoarthritis have minimal or no pain, and may not need treatment. Resting sore joints decreases stress on the joints, and relieves pain and swelling.
  • Exercise usually does not aggravate osteoarthritis when performed at levels that do not cause joint pain. Exercise is helpful in osteoarthritis in several ways. First, it strengthens the muscular support around the joints. It also prevents the joints from "freezing up" and improves and maintains joint mobility. Finally, it helps with weight reduction and promotes endurance. Applying local heat before and cold packs after exercise can help relieve pain and inflammation. Swimming is particularly suited for patients with osteoarthritis because it allows patients to exercise with minimal impact stress to the joints.
  • Using support devices, such as splints, canes, walkers, and braces. These devices can be helpful in reducing stress on the joints. Finger splints can support individual joints of the fingers. Paraffin wax dips, warm water soaks, and nighttime cotton gloves can help ease hand symptoms. Spine symptoms can improve with a neck collar, lumbar corset, or a firm mattress, depending on what areas are involved.
clinical significance17
Clinical Significance
  • Drugs such as aspirin and acetaminophen, pain-relieving creams, NSAIDs, Cox-2 Inhibitors, food supplements glucosamine and chondroitin, fish oil supplements, injections of cortisone or hyaluronic acid
  • Surgery is generally reserved for those patients with osteoarthritis that is particularly severe and unresponsive to the conservative treatments. Arthroscopy can be helpful when cartilage tears are suspected. Osteotomy is a bone removal procedure that can help realign some of the deformity in selected patients, usually those with knee disease.
  • In some cases, severely degenerated joints are best treated by fusion (arthrodesis) or replacement with an artificial joint (arthroplasty). Total hip and total knee replacements are now commonly performed in hospitals throughout the United States. These can bring dramatic pain relief and improved function.

Knee replacement surgery can repair damage from osteoarthritis and other inflammatory conditions. The artificial joint has metal alloy caps for your femur and tibia and high-density plastic to replace eroded cartilage within the joint and on your kneecap.

osteoarthritis at a glance
Osteoarthritis At A Glance
  • Osteoarthritis is a joint inflammation that results from cartilage degeneration.
  • Osteoarthritis can be caused by aging, heredity, and injury from trauma or disease.
  • The most common symptom of osteoarthritis is pain in the affected joint(s) after repetitive use.
  • There is no blood test for the diagnosis of osteoarthritis.
  • The goal of treatment in osteoarthritis is to reduce joint pain and inflammation while improving and maintaining joint function.