[Etiology, pathophysiology and conservative therapy of degenerative rheumatic diseases].Med Pregl. 2002 Jan-Feb; 55(1-2):35-9.MP
ETIOLOGY OF DEGENERATIVE JOINT DISEASES: Etiology of degenerative joint diseases is still not clearly understood and there is no specific management for this group of diseases. Various pathological conditions cause damage of the articular cartilage and lead to clinically and radiographically recognized impairment. Biomechanical, metabolic, genetic factors, inflammation and other risk factors contribute to development of osteoarthrosis. PATHOPHYSIOLOGY OF DEGENERATIVE JOINT DISEASES: Osteoarthrosis is characterized by progressive erosion of articular cartilage and bone overgrowth at the joint margins. Cartilage integrity requires balance between synthesis and degradation of matrix components. Chondrocytes react to various mechanical and chemical stresses in order to stabilize and restore the tissue. Failures in stabilizing and restoring the tissue lead to cartilage degeneration that may be irreversibile. For better understanding of conservative management of degenerative joint diseases it is important to know the impact of pathophysiology mechanisms on development of degenerative joint diseases. There is great variability in the rate of progression of erosive processes in articular cartilage in clinical, radiographic signs and course of the disease. This is in relation with many factors, as well as with management and response to therapy. TREATMENT OF DEGENERATIVE JOINT DISEASES: Treatment should vary depending on the severity of disease and patient's expectations and level of activity. Besides analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs, conventional and not conventional treatment and techniques can be used for management of osteoarthrosis. Physical therapy and exercises are very important for maintaining muscle strength, joint stability and mobility, but should be closely monitored for optimal efficacy.