Osteoarthritis Revision Notes
Osteoarthritis is a very common condition and its frequency increases with age. It is also seen in younger patients but this is more commonly as a consequence of a secondary process or due to past trauma. The management of osteoarthritis makes up a very significant part of the elective orthopaedic workload. Hip and knee replacement (arthroplasty) are among the most successful operations that are currently performed. A detailed knowledge of hip and knee arthritis is essential including the underlying disease process, the radiological features and how the conditions are ultimately managed. However, a working knowledge should also be attained for osteoarthritis of the shoulder and fingers. Much of the following sections will discuss surgical management.
Whilst pharmacological agents and surgical interventions are common in osteoarthritis there are a range of non-pharmacological interventions which can be used.
Osteoarthritis of the hip is common and causes a great amount of morbidity. The modern hip replacement has the potential to revolutionise sufferers lives and to many is a complete 'cure'. However, as with all operations, it is not without risk and a knowledge of these is important.
Osteoarthritis of the knee is also a very common condition. In recent years the total knee replacement has actually replaced the total hip replacement as the most common arthroplasty procedure. Whilst still a very successful operation it does not quite deliver the same patient satisfaction as the total hip replacement. One of the key differences between the knee and hip is that the knee is actually made up of three areas which can almost be considered as separate joints and in recent years can also be individually replaced. These are the medial and lateral tibiofemoral joints and the patellofemoral joint.It is very important to understand the various deformities knee osteoarthritis generates and the radiological appearances of these.
Arthritis in the glenohumeral joint is quite common although surgical intervention is rarer than in the hip and knee. The arthritic degeneration is often secondary to other processes such as shoulder instability or rotator cuff disease. A basic working knowledge of the condition is required and as in the hip and knee it should be recognised on x-ray.
Finger osteoarthritis is a common condition which affects many people. The condition can be difficult to manage and it is often found that the symptoms bear no relation to the radiological severity. Read my short article 'Focus On Finger Osteoarthritis' from the 'Bone and Joint Journal' website.