Treatment of an activated arthrosis
First of all, it is important that the joint is immobilised without fail, i.e. that it is not subjected to too much load. Cooling – for example with cooling pads or cool compresses – can temporarily relieve the symptoms. The application of heat – for example by means of infrared lamps – can be used in the treatment of arthrosis, but should be suspended in the case of activated arthrosis, as this accelerates the inflammatory process.
Painkillers are usually also administered to treat the pain. Painkillers with an anti-inflammatory component are often used here, which also counteract the inflammation of the joint as the cause. Typical examples are ibuprofen or ASS (aspirin).
In severe cases, cortisone is even injected directly into the joint space. Another invasive treatment option is to puncture the excess fluid in the joint (draining). The so-called radiosynoviorthesis, in which slightly radioactive substances are injected into the joint space, is also a possibility, but should be carefully considered. The effectiveness of ointments applied to the skin is controversial. You can find more information about the therapy of arthrosis here.
Duration of an activated arthrosis
The duration of an activated arthrosis depends very much on the severity of the acute inflammation and the respective treatment. It usually takes up to two weeks before the joint effusion disappears on its own. Then the remaining symptoms such as pain and swelling will also slowly subside.
However, the response to the therapeutic measures also varies from person to person, especially the condition of the affected joint is essential. In the worst case, the activated arthrosis can become permanent (so-called chronification). However, this is usually only the case after several episodes of activated arthrosis. In order to prevent this condition, however, a targeted therapy should be sought as early as possible. Since the arthrosis itself is not curable, treatment must continue even after the end of the activated arthrosis.
The activated arthrosis can usually be “deactivated” again. This means that the inflammation recedes and the joint recovers. However, the arthrosis itself cannot be cured and remains in the uninflamed joint.
Therefore, there is a risk that every joint with the underlying disease osteoarthritis will again have an activated osteoarthritis. The more often an activated arthrosis has already occurred in a joint, the higher is the probability that activated arthrosis will occur again after an increasingly short period of time. The knee is one of the joints most frequently affected by arthrosis.
Since the knee must be used daily, activated arthrosis often occurs here as well. This often occurs as a result of stress such as prolonged standing, walking, or of course after sports. Typical, apart from pain, is in particular overheating of the knee, which can be detected by the patient himself.
Since the knee joint of one of the most important joints on the body and a surgical intervention is difficult, the active phases of arthrosis should be kept short in order to avoid chronification. The more often an activated arthrosis breaks out, the shorter the symptom-free phases in between. Further information on osteoarthritis of the knee joint can be found here.
Activated retropatellar arthrosis is located in the so-called femoropatellar joint between the kneecap and the thigh bone. Retropatellar means behind (retro) the kneecap (patella). Damage to the cartilage on the back of the patella can be found in many people without them having any complaints.
All the more frequently, this already existing arthrosis leads to an activated arthrosis, which then becomes symptomatic. Affected persons feel pain particularly frequently when climbing stairs or walking downhill. .
The hip joint is also one of the joints most frequently affected by osteoarthritis. In the case of activated hip joint arthrosis, no swelling or overheating can be detected due to the low position of the hip joint. However, there is severe pain, which typically radiates into the groin.
Here too, depending on the severity of the disease, the pain occurs during and after exertion or even at rest. Further information on the topic of hip arthrosis can be found here. Osteoarthritis can manifest itself in the foot in several places.
On the one hand there is the ankle joint arthrosis, on the other hand there is the so-called tarsal arthrosis. Ankle joint arthrosis most frequently occurs in athletes, especially if they do not properly treat acute injuries to the ligaments in the ankle joint. Activated arthrosis of the ankle joint is usually manifested by pain during movement.
Pain when rolling is also typical here, and patients perceive the pain more strongly in the back of the foot. Sometimes a swelling on the back of the foot can also be felt or even seen. Learn more about ankle joint arthrosis here.
When activated, arthrosis in the metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toe (so-called hallux rigidus) is accompanied by the typical symptoms of redness, swelling and pain. A further typical symptom is an increased restriction of movement during the extension (dorsal extension) of the big toe. This can result in the entire gait pattern being impaired if there is severe pain: The foot can then no longer be unrolled and limping may even occur.
Typically, three joints are most frequently affected by finger arthrosis: The finger end joints, the middle finger joints and the thumb saddle joint. When finger joint arthrosis is activated, the swelling is particularly pronounced due to the thin layer of skin. In addition, in active phases, there are also so-called siphon nodules (nodular thickenings on the joints).
Even in the long term, the fingers often become deformed. Pain occurs mainly in the morning and the closure of the fist is also painful. The limitation of movement is also particularly pronounced in activated finger arthrosis.
Patients often describe a stiffness of the fingers. Arthrosis of the shoulder (so-called omarthrosis) occurs much less frequently than arthrosis of the hip and knee, but is no less painful for the patients affected. Typical are restrictions of movement and pain that cannot be localised very specifically.
Often, however, movements in which the arm is spread outwards or lifted are particularly painful. Pain can also be caused by pressure on certain points, this is particularly noticeable when the pain occurs at night in certain lying positions. Read more information about shoulder arthrosis here.
The AC joint (acromioclavicular joint, also called the acromioclavicular joint) can also be affected by arthrosis. When the arthrosis is activated, pain and increasing restriction of movement occur, similar to shoulder joint arthrosis. The pain also occurs when the arm is lifted, but in contrast to shoulder joint arthrosis, it occurs mainly when lifting to the opposite side.
Here too, pain can occur when lying in certain positions. A swelling can be detected and in some cases the patient can feel it himself. You can find more information about arthrosis of the acromioclavicular joint here.