Joint arthritis, which is considered an old age disease but can also be detected at younger ages, can be caused by cellular losses that occur with aging. Osteoarthritis, which impairs patients' quality of life in old age, inhibits the joints from performing a variety of duties.
WHAT IS ARTHRITIS?
Osteoarthritis, popularly known as arthritis and degenerative joint disease in medicine, can affect all joints in the body, but especially the hip and lower back, neck, knee and finger joints can bring problems that limit mobility. Calcification in the spine increases the load on the hips and knees. Calcification in the lower back triggers calcification in the neck and back. If arthritis develops in one or two vertebrae in the lower back, the load on the other three vertebrae also increases. This can lead to slippage or stenosis of the spinal canal due to reduced strength of the vertebrae.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ARTHRITIS?
Osteoarthritis is a disease that occurs in some joints in the body and negatively affects the patient's mobility. The symptoms of arthritis are related to which joint the disease affects.
In the knee joint, arthritis manifests itself with symptoms such as excruciating pain in the knee while walking and climbing stairs, locking of the knee, and a sound or crunching sensation with pain.
When arthritis manifests itself in the neck, it can cause symptoms such as headache and neck pain, pain radiating to the arm, stiffness in the neck, weakness - numbness - burning - stinging in the arm, weakness - decreased dexterity - numbness - tingling, tinnitus, dizziness and blurred vision.
When the decrease in intra-articular fluid that causes arthritis occurs in the spine, it causes the small joints there to gradually lose their function. As the spine loses its flexibility, the bones thicken. As a result, there may be nerve compression, limitation of movement accompanied by pain due to decreased flexibility, hunchbacks, an increase in the lumbar hollow, and deformities such as forward and lateral curvatures. In osteoarthritis of the spine, the patient feels pain as if they have been 'punched', and problems such as slipping of the spine or stenosis of the spinal canal occur.
The most common symptom of osteoarthritis in the hip region is pain. In the first stage, the pain is of a character that disappears with rest. When the disease progresses, resting is ineffective in relieving the pain and the patient needs painkillers. In the more advanced stage of the disease, heavy painkillers are used due to the increase in deformation and after a while, applications such as physiotherapy and injections are no longer effective. In the last stage, surgery becomes necessary.
Ear calcification is known as 'Otosclerosis' in medicine. It is a condition in which a spongy bone appears at the entrance of the inner ear due to deterioration of the bone wall of the inner ear and the stirrup bone calcifies and loses its mobility. Symptoms include tinnitus and slowly progressive hearing loss in one or both ears. However, since these complaints can also be a harbinger of other diseases, patient history and detailed examination are of great importance.
WHAT CAUSES LIME DEPOSITS?
Cellular losses that come with aging lead to joint calcification and prevent the joints from performing certain tasks. Joint calcification, which can be described as 'decreased intra-articular fluid', occurs primarily due to genetic structure, sedentary life, overweight and smoking, as well as age factors.
The causes of arthritis also vary according to the joint it affects in the body.
It is known that some diseases are at the root of the decrease in intra-articular fluid that leads to arthritis in the knee. Knee arthritis can be triggered by 'osteoarthritis' which erodes the articular cartilage over time, 'rheumatoid arthritis' which is an inflammatory-inflammatory disease that can affect many different joints in the body, and 'post-traumatic' joint disorders that can be seen due to fractures and ligament injuries in the knee joint.
Osteoarthritis in the neck is seen due to aging, micro and macro traumas, posture disorders and genetic factors.
Among the most important factors underlying spinal arthritis; sedentary life with advanced age. In addition, overweight, unhealthy diet, smoking and long hours spent sedentary at a desk also predispose to arthritis. Genetic characteristics among the unchangeable factors are also among the important causes.
Calcification in the hip region occurs due to cartilage damage on the surface of mobile and mobile joints.
Ear calcification; Although the cause is not known exactly, it is thought to be caused by hereditary factors. It is more common in women than in men and usually between the ages of 20 and 40.
HOW IS CALCIFICATION DIAGNOSED?
Calcification is diagnosed by clinical examination, questioning the patient's history and performing some tests according to the joints where the disease is seen in the body.
Spinal calcification or narrowing is diagnosed by examination, description of the character of pain and radiological examinations. Pain that lasts more than 3 months and does not go away indicates the presence of a problem in the joints. In the patient, the pain spreads over a large area and creates a feeling as if a fist has been hit. It is also possible to feel the pain in the internal organs. The pain may come and go intermittently. The entire spinal system should be reviewed when making the diagnosis.
Knee arthritis can be diagnosed with a simple X-ray after examination. In complex cases, MRI and blood tests may also be required.
A hip X-ray is an important part of the diagnosis of hip arthritis. In addition, special tests are performed in case of pain in the hip joint to determine whether the patient is able to perform certain movements. The hip X-ray also shows important details for the detection of problems in the hip structure. The disease can be detected at an early stage with such examination methods in order to prevent the patient from encountering an untreatable calcification picture that will require prosthesis.
Ear calcification is diagnosed by hearing tests performed on patients who consult a doctor with tinnitus or hearing loss. In addition, the patient's family history of the disease and clinical examination are also important. If the patient is diagnosed with 'otosclerosis' as a result of the examination and tests, a decision is made on which treatment will be applied.
Neck arthritis is diagnosed by clinical examination, patient history and imaging methods such as X-ray and MRI when necessary. The appropriate treatment method is determined by considering the extent of the calcification and its effect on the patient's social life.
How is arthritis treated?
Many methods such as changes in daily life habits, rheumatic and herbal medicines, physical therapy applications, ozone therapy, injections to replace intra-articular fluid loss are used in the treatment of arthritis. However, if the arthritis does not respond to these treatments, the patient's quality of life decreases significantly and the course of the disease worsens, surgical options come to the agenda.
Surgical techniques called arthroscopy and osteotomy are primarily used in knee arthritis. With the 'microsurgery' method, also known as closed surgery, the entire microsurgery operation, which takes an average of 1.5-2 hours, is performed with a 2 cm skin incision and a special operating microscope. The patient can be discharged after one day of hospitalization and can return to work two weeks after surgery.
In the treatment of hip arthritis, a special exercise therapy is applied to adjust the strength and balance of the muscles around the hip joint. If the patient does not have problems such as a herniated disc, he or she can benefit significantly from yoga and pilates, which include stretching and stretching movements. In addition to exercises, painkillers and muscle relaxants are also used if necessary.
'Hip arthroscopy' surgery is used in patients who need hip joint-sparing surgery. With this method, intra-articular problems are significantly eliminated. In the "Reliable Luxation" technique, the hip is removed from its socket with a joint-sparing method, and calcification that may develop can be prevented.
In neck arthritis; rest, neck corset, drug therapy, physical therapy applications, exercises, injection methods and trainings to change the patient's daily life habits are mainly used.
In ear calcification, physical examination, hearing test and, if necessary, radiological examinations are performed first. Treatment is then planned according to the condition of the calcification. Myringosclerosis, which does not cause any damage to the eardrum; in other words, no surgical intervention is performed in simple eardrum calcifications. In the type called tympanosclerosis, which involves the middle ear ossicles, surgery is performed depending on the calcification of the hammer, anvil and stirrup bones. The affected ossicles are identified and removed during the operation and hearing is restored to normal levels with appropriate middle ear prostheses. These prostheses can be titanium, fluoroplastic, Teflon or Teflon fluoroplastic. Which one is preferred depends on the place and purpose of use.
The treatment of otosclerosis, a special type of ear calcification, is divided into two phases: early and late. In the early stage, calcification has not yet fully formed. In this period, also known as the mild stage, the patient can be given tablets containing sodium fluoride to slow down the progression of the disease. However, in the late stage, when calcification progresses, the treatment method is surgery. In surgery performed under general or local anesthesia, the calcified ossicle is removed and replaced with a piston. Sometimes otosclerosis can progress to calcification of the inner ear. If the calcification extends to the inner ear, hearing loss may become uncorrectable even if surgery is performed. This is because as the calcification progresses to the inner ear, the patient begins to experience neural hearing loss. For this reason, it is important to provide treatment at an early stage.
The aim of the treatment of osteoarthritis of the spine is to enable the patient to regain their activities of daily living. Patients regain their health with the use of medication, exercises, physical therapy and microsurgical operations that do not cause incisions in the body.
Osteoarthritis is a lifelong disease and therefore it is very important for the patient to take measures to protect the comfort of life after treatment. In this respect, it is necessary to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight, to stop smoking, and to do regular age-appropriate sports and exercise. Regularly practicing sports such as swimming, which ensure that the muscles in the body work regularly, will help to reduce the negative effects of arthritis and slow down the course of the disease.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ARTHRITIS
Does careless use of knee joints cause arthritis?
The most important cause of arthritis in the knee area is genetic predisposition, overweight and poor and careless activity. As a result of occupational groups that lift the load with their knees, unconscious sports without warming up and the use of wrong shoes for a long time, foot and ankle problems may occur along with this problem.
What does a crunching sound from the knee indicate?
Calcification occurs on the inside of the knee or in the kneecap. As a result of calcification in the knee area, it becomes difficult for the patient to climb up and down stairs and to sit and stand up after a while. Mobility decreases due to calcification. Patients are disturbed by the crunching sound coming from their joints due to this problem. Sudden falls that occur after knee locking due to meniscus tear or joint mouse are the causes of hip fractures. Hip fractures are a life-threatening injury in elderly patients.
Can the patient walk immediately after knee replacement surgery?
Knee replacement surgery is performed by removing the calcified articular cartilages of the knee and replacing them with similar ones made of metal with a polyethylene support piece in between. Both the lower and upper articular surfaces of the femur and tibia are replaced. In rare cases, the kneecap may also be replaced. These parts are glued to the bone with a special material called cement. The patient can walk the next day and the stitches can be removed in 15-20 days.
Does hip arthritis manifest itself with knee pain?
In the diagnosis of hip osteoarthritis, the source of the pain must be correctly identified. Many people who suffer from this problem consult orthopedists because of knee pain rather than hip pain. This disease is diagnosed as a result of the pain caused by the calcification problem in the hip usually hitting the knee. Bone gangrene in the hip, diseases affecting the soft tissues and low back pain can also cause pain in the hip area. These pains are usually not related to arthritis. While pain due to arthritis manifests itself as pain in the front of the groin, most of the pain in the back of the hip is of lumbar origin.
Should patients with hip and knee arthritis lose weight?
The hip joint is the most load-bearing joint of the body. The knees also bear the weight of the body. Therefore, it should be prevented from carrying more load with excess weight. Overweight people with arthritis in the hip or knee joints should definitely pay attention to their diet and lose weight.
Where does neck arthritis pain occur?
Neck arthritis can cause pain not only in the neck but also in the shoulders and arms. With the necessary treatment, the pain in these areas is also relieved.
What happens when cervical osteoarthritis is not treated?
Neck arthritis is a problem that can be treated with exercise, rest and medical applications. When the treatment is neglected, the mobility of the neck will significantly decrease and the patient may become unable to perform daily tasks and even self-care.
What is the surgical process in ear calcification?
The preferred treatment method for otosclerosis is surgery. This surgery, called "stapedotomy", is based on removing the stirrup bone and replacing it with a metal or plastic prosthesis. Dizziness may occur for a few days after the operation, so bed rest is necessary. As with any surgery, there are some risks. Therefore, if there is calcification in both ears, it is appropriate to operate on one ear first and decide whether the other one needs surgery according to the result.
What should be considered after the operation?
It is sufficient for patients to rest for two days after the operation. However, the first three or even six months following the operation are important. During this period, the patient should avoid situations such as heavy lifting, straining, diving or airplane travel that will cause positive pressure in the ear. Otosclerosis is more likely to occur in both ears. In such patients, both ears cannot be intervened at the same time, and it is necessary to wait at least 6 months. After surgery, patients' hearing improves immediately and in parallel, the tinnitus they hear decreases or even disappears. Patients can leave the hearing aids they had to use before and the troubles they brought and return to their normal lives.
What should be considered when choosing a hearing aid?
Hearing aids are the most appropriate choice if the physician deems surgery risky and medication is not possible. These electronic devices, which increase the intensity of external sounds to a level that the ear can hear, are selected taking into account the degree and cause of hearing loss.