Calcification (osteoarthritis)

Osteoarthritis (OA), popularly known as calcification, is the wear and tear of the articular cartilage as a result of the natural aging process, overuse of the joint or trauma.

What is a joint?

The anatomical region where two or more bones meet in the human body is called a joint. Joints provide movement and flexibility of the body.

Smooth, smooth cartilage tissue covers the bone ends within the joint. This cartilage tissue protects the bone ends from the friction that will occur during movement, bone-to-bone contact, and allows the joint to move comfortably and painlessly. There is also joint fluid called synovial fluid, which helps to reduce friction and wear in the joint.

How is the Joint Affected in Calcification?

OA, joint degeneration, osteoarthritis; It is the wear and tear of articular cartilage as a result of the natural aging process, overuse, or trauma to the joint. Since cartilage is a nonvascular tissue; cleavage and replacement activity is low, healing ability is very limited. Once the cartilage is damaged, the resulting deterioration is irreversible and cannot be repaired.

In OA, the articular cartilage that covers the bone ends in the joint gradually wears out over time. The smooth-surfaced articular cartilage, which allows the bones to move freely against each other as the joint bends and opens, has now become irregular, worn and eroded. As the bone beneath the cartilage is exposed due to cartilage wear, joint movement becomes very painful.

Complaints

Since OA develops over years, it is a joint disease that mostly affects middle and advanced age.

Although it is more common in advanced ages, it can also be encountered at early ages due to sports injuries and occupational traumas. Other risk factors are obesity, previous trauma and family history of OA.

OA; It is most commonly seen in the knees, hips, fingers and spine. The affected joint is painful and swollen. Joint enlargement, deformity, limitation of movement may occur.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made by full questioning of the patient’s complaints, physical examination, direct radiography and, if necessary, blood tests.

On direct radiography (X-ray), the extent of joint damage, narrowing of the joint space, bone erosion, bone protrusions at the edge of the joint (osteophyte) are detected. Other imaging modalities are rarely needed.

Blood tests are done to rule out other types of arthritis.

Treatment

Supportive Treatment:

Early non-surgical treatment improves mobility and muscle strength. Many treatment programs; combines lifestyle modification, medication and physical therapy. Movements that will increase OA pain should be avoided and weight control should be done.

Injection treatments

Injections of cortisone, hyaluronic acid, and PRP applied into the joint provide a reduction in complaints. Nutritional supplements such as glucosamine and chondroidin sulfate are used for OA.

Physiotheraphy:

A suitable physical therapy program increases the range of motion of the joint, reduces pain and strengthens the muscles. Supportive devices (walker, cane) may be needed.

Surgical treatment:

Surgery is considered when supportive therapy no longer relieves pain or has lost its effectiveness. surgical options for OA; arthroscopy, osteotomy, joint freezing and joint replacement.

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