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Talking about joints of bones, they have been classified as  Synovial or Non-Synovial based on weather a cavity is present in between the two bones or not. Synovial joints have cavity whereas non-synovial joints don’t.

Diseases are usually found in synovial joints and are also involved in systemic disorders, (a disease that affects other parts of the body, or even the whole body).

Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. Arthritis is very common but is not well understood. Actually, ‘arthritis’ is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. Some of the most common types are mentioned below.


Also called DEGENERATIVE JOINT DISEASE (DJD) is the most common disease of synovial joints. It is characterized by progressive degenerative changes in the articular cartilages, especially in weight-bearing joints such as the knee, hip and vertebrae but joints of fingers may also be affected.

 It occurs in two forms: Primary and Secondary.

Primary occurs in the elderly usually after 40 years and increases with age. Little is known about its cause and can be attributed to longevity, repeated minor traumas, ageing, obesity, and heredity.

Secondary can occur at any age and is the result of any previous injury, fracture, loose bodies or dislocation of hip (by birth).

Symptoms of OA include stiffness, diminished mobility, discomfort and pain, which are more prominent while waking up in the morning. If in the spine, it may cause muscle spasms and neurologic abnormalities.


It is a chronic (long-running) disease of unknown cause that affects multiple systems of the body, causing abnormalities in blood, heart, lungs and nerves.

It’s a common disease that affects usually at 3rd or 4th decade of life, affecting 3-5 times more to females.

The onset of the disease is insidious, beginning with symptoms fatigue, weakness, joint stiffness, vague joint pain (arthralgias), muscle pain (myalgias). This is followed by pain, swelling of joints of fingers, wrist, elbows, ankle and knees.

It may arise in some unrelated disease such as viral hepatitis, cirrhosis and leprosy.

A few variant forms of RA are JUVENILE: affecting children below 16 years.

FELTY’S SYNDROME:  RA associated with an enlarged spleen (splenomegaly) and overactive spleen (hypersplenism).

RHEUMATOID SPONDYLITIS: Usually found in young males affecting joints of the spine that link pelvis and lower spine.


It is acute infectious arthritis caused by bacteria. Bacteria reach joints mainly by the bloodstream, by an open wound or by lymph (Fluid present between the tissues). People having low immunity are more susceptible.

Bacteria involved are pneumococci, meningococci, staphylococci, streptococci.

Symptoms include fever, redness, swelling, pain and joint effusion (accumulation of fluid in or around a joint).

The large joints of lower extremities such as the knee, hip and ankle are favoured location.


Gout is a disorder characterized by deposition of uric acid in between the joints. Uric acids level of more than 7mg/dl of blood is the onset of gout.  It usually starts in the 3rd decade of life and affects men more than women and may be hereditary. Gout may reach a stage of GOUTY ARTHRITIS.

Symptoms include joint effusion, intense pain, and fever

It is predominantly a disease of lower extremities affecting most commonly great toe. Other joints involved might be ankles, heels, knees, wrist, fingers and elbow.


Haemorrhagic arthritis is bleeding into joint spaces. It is a common feature of haemophilia (a rare disorder in which your blood doesn’t clot normally).

The most common joints affected are the knees, ankles, and elbows, although it can also occur in the hip, shoulders, and wrists.

Overextended periods, excess bleeding can cause permanent damage in a person’s joint, leading to reduced movement and sometimes, and permanent disability.

When bleeding occurs in the joint, it affects the cartilage that surrounds the bone. Cartilage prevents two bones that connect within a joint rubbing against each other when they move.

Joint bleeding destroys the cartilage, which erodes and becomes pitted. The damaged cartilage can no longer protect the bones from friction, so that they rub together, which is very painful. Over time, this will cause restricted movement in a person’s joint.

Symptoms include warmth, and tingling in the joint. A baby with a bleeding joint may be irritable or crying for no reason that the parent can determine

Over time symptoms can become more serious and include: the skin over the joint feels warm, swelling stiffness, pain, loss of motion, discomfort, small children may refuse to straighten, use, or put weight on the affected limb.


Tuberculous arthritis is an infection of the joints due to tuberculosis (TB). Tuberculous arthritis is caused by the bacteria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A very small number of people who have TB will develop this form of arthritis.

The joints most often involved are the: ankles, hips knees, spine, wrists. Most cases involve just one joint.

TB involving the spine is often referred to as Pott’s disease. It makes up about half of all TB-related bone infections.

Symptoms include: decreased movement in the joints, excessive sweating, especially at night, joint swelling with warm, tender joints, low-grade fever, muscle atrophy, muscle spasms, numbness, tingling, or weakness below the infection (if the spine is involved), Weight loss or loss of appetite

Note: The condition usually starts slowly and usually involves only one joint.


M. Sc. Gold Medalist

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