Degenerative joint disease is the condition where joint inflammation and inflammation of tissues surrounding the joints takes place, causing degeneration over the time period. It results in cartilage tissue deterioration that supports the weight bearing joints of the body like spine, hips and knees. As the cartilage gets lost or thinned down, the bones grind against one another causing stiffness and pain during the joint movement.
Abnormal bone formation or extension called bone spurs may grow from the affected bones, increasing stiffness and pain. Degenerative joint disease can affect any joint, but weight bearing joints are more susceptible due to excess wear and tear of these as compared to rest. The disease affects 80% of individuals above 60 years of age. Out of the four major type of degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis and adult onset rheumatoid arthritis are the most common types.
Mild form of degenerative disease remains asymptomatic or show short phases of discomfort and joint stiffness. On the other hand, severe degeneration causes hypertrophy and joint enlargement. Both bone spurs and hypertrophy may lead to neural compression, giving rise to more profound symptoms. Osteophyte formation leads to joint deformity, joint lockage and reduced range of motion.
Major Types Of Degenerative Joint Disease (djd)
Degenerative Joint Disease (djd) Of The Spine
It is also referred as facet disease or spinal osteoarthritis that deteriorates the spinal facet joints. Facet joints of spine are of sliding form that allows flexibility in adjacent vertebrae. The encapsulated joints of spine have articulating surfaces that are lubricated with synovial fluid and covered with cartilage.
Joint disease wears out the cartilage and cause inflammation of synovial capsule, leading to symptoms like joint instability, stiffness, deformity, inflammation and lockage.
Degenerative Joint Disease (djd) Of The Neck
DJD of the neck is very commonly occurrence as over the years of wear and tear take its toll over the vertebrae, cervical spine joints and invertebral discs. The disease deteriorates the articular cartilage of facet joints by protein fibers breakdown and loss of water. Rubbing of adjacent bones cause inflammation and stimulate bone spurs or osteophyte development.
These bone spurs may compress the adjacent cervical nerves of the spine. The symptoms like tingling, weakness and throbbing may spread through arms, hands and shoulders. In severe cases, the synovial capsule inflammation may further lead to joint deformity or additional inflammation making the situation worse.
Degenerative Joint Disease (djd) In The Lumbar Spine
DJD is common occurrence in the lower back or lumbar spine as this region of spine supports half of the body’s total weight.
A continual pressure of lifetime over the lower back causes the articulate cartilage within the facet joints or vertebral joints to deteriorate and lead to joint stiffness, pain, inflammation and bone spurs.
Osteoarthritis Or Severe Degenerative Joint Disease
Osteoarthritis is the result of natural deterioration of joints due to aging process that may lead to back or neck pain. As one ages, the spinal support deteriorates, mainly in the lumbar spine and cervical segments of lower back and spine respectively.
Severe form of the disease occurs when cartilage gets wear down majorly, leading to bone to bone rubbing that results in stiffed movements and extreme pain.