May 22, 2008

Complications of Osteoarthritis – Fatal Complications & Warning Signs

Posted in Category : Bone, Joint & Muscles Disorders

Osteoarthritis itself causes problems as pain in the joints, immovability of the joint and development of nodes on bones in joints.  None of these are life threatening. However, osteoarthritis can give rise to some other complications as well. Some of them can be fatal. Therefore, apart from the above symptoms if any other symptoms are experienced then it should be considered as a sign warning sign.

Some of them complications that can arise due to osteoarthritis are given below.

Break down of cartilage – this is among the common complications of osteoarthritis. In it, the cartilage loses its material and therefore become thinner and thinner. The cartilage is a very important part of the joint. Such a break down of cartilage is one of the very serious complications of osteoarthritis.

Bone death -  this is also called osteonecrosis. The tissues, which supply blood and nutrients to the bones, die and therefore the bones do not get the essential nutrients. This results in to the collapse of the whole bone. The warning sign of the bone death is frequent occurrence of fractures. As the bone starts collapsing, it loses its structural strength and therefore this can be considered to the warning sign of bone death.

Bleeding in the joints -  bleeding in joints occurs commonly. Bleeding may lead to the accumulation of the fluid in the joints. There is no warning sign for such complications of the osteoarthritis.

Infection of the complications of osteoarthritis also include infections. If such an infection occurs in addition to the osteoarthritis then it should be cured as early as possible. Such infections thrive on the damaged bones and tissues. Thus, they further damage them and they can spread to the other regions as well.

Deterioration and rupture of ligaments and tendons in the joint region of  these tendons and ligaments are equally important as the cartilages and bones in the joints. Therefore, any damage to them can affect the functioning and use of joint. The warning signs of this are abnormalities in the X-rays or pain experienced by the patient.

Pinched nerve – this is one of the complications of osteorarthrits, which occurs in the spine. If the osteoarthritis has occurred to the bones from the vertebral column occasionally causes the pinching in the nerves.

These complications of osteoarthritis are usually hard to detect by the patient. Only the medical tests are helpful for detecting them. Therefore, a patient of osteoarthritis should regularly get his affected joints examined from rheumatologist.