Arthritis is one of the most common medical conditions in India. Arthritis is a health condition in which the patients suffer from pain due to swelling and inflammation around joints. The inflammation is often caused due to the gradual degeneration of the cartilage that covers and sheathes the joints. This results in irritation, pain, inflammation, stiffness and gradual loss of that joint.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, nearly 9.6 percent of men and 18 percent of women aged over 60 years suffer from Osteoarthritis worldwide. In India, Osteoarthritis is the second most common rheumatologic problem and it is the most frequent joint disease in the country with a prevalence of 22 per cent to 39 per cent.
With so many of us suffering from this debilitating disease, Zimmer Biomet, one of the leading medical devices manufacturers in the country, is joining hands with Network18 to promote awareness and talk about the concerns of individuals regarding bone and joint health. Zimmer Biomet is a global medical technology leader with a comprehensive portfolio designed to maximise mobility and improve health.
There are two main types of arthritis – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In the former, damage to the cartilaginous tissue can occur from wear and tear. Injury, infection, lifestyle choices, age and genetic predisposition are some of the risk factors for osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack the lining of the joint capsule, called the synovial membrane, which then causes damage to the cartilage and bone. The risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis include family history, age, genetic predisposition and gender.
Arthritis can mean lowered workplace productivity in high-income countries due to timely intervention and access to healthcare. In countries like India, arthritis can mean loss of livelihood entirely due to the disease not being treated in time in most cases. Rheumatoid arthritis can especially be threatening to livelihoods as it is more common in younger individuals than osteoarthritis. The disease can also significantly impact the lifestyles of individuals who suffer from it, with arthritis quickly emerging to be the fourth most common cause of disability in India.
While rheumatoid arthritis can be a debilitating disease, it is osteoarthritis which is continuing to become a leading cause of healthcare burden and disability across the world and India. Some of the common symptoms of the disease include pain in affected joints. The affected joints also suffer from restricted movement due to stiffness or tenderness, along with loss of full range of motion. As osteoarthritis can cause inflammation, there may also be significant swelling around the joint along with a painful grating sensation when moving that joint. In certain cases, there may also be the development of additional complications like bone spurs.
As a result of changing lifestyles, a growing population and increasingly sedentary activity levels, the prevalence of all types of arthritis is also increasing steadily. Incidentally, suffering from arthritis further increases the chances of an individual suffering from other lifestyle diseases like diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular issues due to plummeting activity levels.
Rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed using tests like erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP), both of which show elevated levels when a patient suffers from the disease. Osteoarthritis is usually detected through imaging techniques like X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, and arthroscopy along with complementary laboratory tests
The most common medicinal intervention is the administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs not only help patients manage pain but also reduce other symptoms of the disease including inflammation and swelling.
Replacement arthroplasty, or joint replacement surgery, is also an electric surgical option that patients can opt for in case of severe damage to the joints, bone, or cartilage or in case of deformity of the joint. It is often considered a final option when other less invasive interventions are not working. Knee replacement surgeries alone in India hit the 2,00,000 mark in 2020 and the demand for joint replacement surgery is expected to grow in the country as advancements in science and surgery have made the procedure far more effective than before.
A joint replacement may be complete or partial and the life expectancy of the new artificial joints can be anywhere from a couple of years to decades depending on various other factors. Zimmer Biomet’s campaign with Network 18 will help readers educate themselves against the common disease and help explain options to existing patients. Through advancements in medical tech, holistic interventions have meant that arthritis patients are able to enjoy a better quality of life than ever before.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease, it only worsens with time without proper medical care. The disease can lead to chronic pain and disability as time progresses. Lifestyle changes, medical aid and timely intervention can not only prevent extensive damage but also help patients regain normal joint functions.
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First Published: Sept 30, 2022 7:17 PM IST