The term arthritis literally means inflammation of a joint, but is generally used to describe any condition in which there is damage to the cartilage. Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury. The warning signs that inflammation presents are redness, swelling, heat and pain.
The cartilage is a padding that absorbs stress. The proportion of cartilage damage and synovial inflammation varies with the type and stage of arthritis. Usually the pain early on is due to inflammation. In the later stages, when the cartilage is worn away, most of the pain comes from the mechanical friction of raw bones rubbing on each other.
There are over 100 different types of rheumatic diseases. Post-traumatic arthritis is one type of arthritis.
What is Post-traumatic Arthritis?
Arthritis developing following an injury to hand, wrist or elbow is called as post-traumatic arthritis. The condition may develop years after the trauma such as a fracture, severe sprain or ligament tear.
Causes of Post-traumatic Arthritis
Fractures at joint surfaces and joint dislocations may predispose an individual to develop post-traumatic arthritis. It is considered that your body secretes certain hormones following injury which may cause death of the cartilage cells.
Symptoms of Post-traumatic Arthritis
Arthritic symptoms generally include swelling and pain or tenderness in one or more joints for more than two weeks, redness or heat in a joint, limitation of motion of joint, early morning stiffness, and skin changes including rashes.
Diagnosis of Post-traumatic Arthritis
Doctors diagnose arthritis with a medical history, a physical exam and X-rays of the affected part. Computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are also performed to diagnose arthritis.
Treatment of Post-traumatic Arthritis
Post-traumatic arthritis is usually treated with arthroplasty. In this procedure, your surgeon removes the affected joint and replaces it with an artificial implant. The goal of the surgery is to relieve pain and restore the normal functioning of the joint. Total joint replacement can be performed through an open or minimally invasive approach.