The bones are joined together and encased in a strong fibrous tissue (ligamentous tissue), called as joint capsule. Inside the joint capsule, there is a synovial tissue layer that provides synovial fluid to the joints, to maintain its free mobility.
This fluid works as grease for the joints and also acts as a shock absorber, providing protection from damages and assuring smooth movements of the joints. There exist certain diseases that may affect joints and its functioning.
Different Joint Diseases
Though, majority of joint diseases fall into category of arthritis disease. Still, there exist other forms of joint diseases as well.
Inflammatory Joint Disease
Inflammatory joint diseases are the consequences of injury or diet choices. In such joint diseases, the joint turns red, swell and become painful. The swelling can be so severe that the fluid needs to be removed from the joint.
Gout is one of the types of inflammatory disease in the joint, causing severe swelling and pain. Inflammatory disease may be the primary factor itself or it can be secondary to another disease like enteropathic arthritis or Crohn’s disease, Reiter’s syndrome (caused after manifestation of venereal disease) or psoriasis. The inflammatory joint disease show a period of aggravation and remission.
Infectious Joint Disease
The inflamed joint can be the result of a joint infection or due to an infection within the body, known as septic arthritis. Septic arthritis is caused by blood infection by pathogen or a direct transfer of infection to the joint, during trauma.
The septic joint infection can be very rapid that quickly causes joint disintegration. If the disease is left untreated, it is highly likely that it could lead to bone fusion of joints.
Degenerative Joint Disease
The simplest and most common of all joint diseases is degenerative joint diseases that is the result of damage to internal tissue or structures of joints due to injury, trauma or age related degeneration. The joint tends to lose cartilage smoothness and there could also be damage to synovial fluid producing tissues of the joint.
The joint then becomes rigid and unable to move. Initially, there may not be any sort of joint pain and if, the healing does not happen naturally, the obstructed mobility leads to wear and tear of the cartilage, leading to bone thinning and projections. The major kinds of degenerative diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, Charcot’s joints and osteoarthritis.
An inflammatory disease, where small joints of feet and hands as well as joints of knees, shoulders, wrist and elbows are affected is called as rheumatoid arthritis. Inflamed joints result in degeneration, swelling and pain.
Charcot’s joints are formed under extreme stress and the disease is a progressive kind of degenerative joint disease that progresses very rapidly. This is owing to absence of any pain signal that keeps the early signs unnoticed, leading to continuous degeneration of the troubled joint.
Disease that affect nerve stimulation like poliomyelitis, syphilis, diabetes mellitus and spinal cord injuries, leads to lack of pain sensation and cause for Charcot’s joints, also referred as neuropathic arthropathy. Charcot’s joints mainly affect the feet and are sensed as tingling, numbness and loss of sensation of the affected joint, leading to swollen and deformed joints.
In osteoarthritis, articular cartilage gets destroyed, resulting in limited mobility and loss of smoothness of joints. Due to lack of articular cartilage, the affected bones get rubbed together during mobility, causing thicker bone formation and pain.
Autoimmune Joint Disease
The body does not recognize its own joint tissues and cartilage, and produces antibodies against them. The cartilage is being attacked, loses its texture and get rough. With adequate smoothness, the joint movement hinders and show altered and troublesome moves. Bony spurs grow in an attempt to heal the joints and the cartilage wears down gradually.