We will write a custom Essay on Osteoarthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis Symptoms specifically for you
807 certified writers online
Osteoarthritis is non-inflammatory joint disorder that affects at least 16 million Americans, is characterized by the deterioration of articular cartilage, which continues to slowly progress. It is the most common of the arthritic disorders, and 90% of elders show some evidence of these changes on x-ray examination, though they are not necessarily aware of arthritic changes (Lane and Wallace 55). Elderly persons with osteoarthritis experience joint deterioration more often than younger persons because joint protective mechanisms such as neuromuscular response and muscle conditioning are impaired in elders.
In contrast to osteoarthritis, Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disorder which affects spine and sacroiliac joints. In contrast to osteoarthritis, Ankylosing spondylitis affects young people, from 15-30 years old. It may occur at any age, but it tends to become more frequent in individuals, particularly men. In contrast to osteoarthritis, where the synovial covering of a joint is worn away, in Ankylosing spondylitis the affected synovium becomes massively hypertrophic and edematous with projections of synovial tissue protruding into the joint cavity.
It is unpredictable in its course and may have periods of remission and exacerbation that seem influenced by psychosocial factors as well as changes in synovia. The course usually continues downward in spite of periods of remission (Khan 43).
In both diseases, excess weight exacerbates the problems. Many find movement restricted and joints hypertrophied, stiff, and painful. Discomfort tends to be worse in the morning after a night of inactivity, after excessive use, and when there is change in the weather. Major areas affected are hands, knees, hips, lumbar spine, and cervical spine (Lane and Wallace 58). One may hear a grinding or grating sound, particularly in the neck, when moving. Osteoarthritis of the knee occurs in about 10% of individuals over age 65 and accounts for considerable pain, disability, and costly care. Most total knee replacements are done because of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis of the hip is the most prevalent form of arthritis in the United States.
Persons with osteoarthritis of the hip experience pain, localized to the groin and anterior or lateral thigh, morning stiffness, and gel phenomenon (feeling that the joint is frozen in one position). While not as frequent, osteoarthritis of the hand may be particularly troublesome because so much of our daily life depends upon object manipulation. Characteristically, it limits movement at the base of the thumb and the end joints of the fingers. Ankylosing Spondylitis can be associated with such signs as iridocyclitis and photophobia, mouth ulcers and fatigue (Khan 73).
On contrast to Ankylosing Spondylitis, symptoms of osteoarthritis in late life tend to be acutely uncomfortable and spread throughout the joints of the body. Sometimes the disorder affects systems other than joints (Lane and Wallace 60). One man suffered intense pain for a period of 6 months, but because the physicians attending him paid little attention, he felt he was doomed to this for the remainder of his life.
Pain may be a result of inflammatory disorders, degenerative problems, fractures or contusions, shoulder separation involving the clavicle, impingement syndrome involving the rotator cuff, or biceps tendinitis or referred pain from other areas. Pain that increases with activity suggests tendon impingement or degenerative arthritis. Pain with numbness and tingling may indicate cervical radiculopathy. Pain that occurs most severely at night is often seen with rotator cuff tears.
- Khan, M. A. Ankylosing Spondylitis: The Facts. Oxford University Press, 2002.
- Lane, N. E., Wallace, D. J. All About Osteoarthritis: The Definitive Resource for Arthritis Patients and Their Families. Oxford University Press, 2002.