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Joint Inflammation: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Sep 25, 2023

What is the treatment?

You immediately think of arthritis when you face inflammation of the joints. Inflammation is known as the process in which the white blood cells and the immune system of the body help guard us from infection and foreign organisms like bacteria and virus. In case of certain diseases, an inflammatory response is triggered by the body’s immune system when there is an absence of foreign elements to fight off. These autoimmune diseases ultimately lead to the body’s normal defense system causing damage to its tissues. Then there is an abnormal reaction as if the normal tissues of the body are somehow infected. The types of arthritis associated with inflammation are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gouty arthritis and systematic lupus erythematosus.

There are several treatment options available for joint inflammation. These include rest, surgical treatment of joint correction, exercise, and medications. The type of treatment provided depends on a number of factors which are the age of a person, the type of disease, the type of medications been taken, severity of symptoms, overall health, and medical history. The goal of the treatment is to decrease joint stress by the usage of splints, canes, or braces, relieving pain through medication, which is activity modification, maintaining the overall body functions through exercise or physical therapy, joint movement and muscle strength. Doctors recommend join inflammation medications such as NSAIDs (aspirin, celebrex, or ibuprofen) or corticosteroids.

How is the treatment done?

A surgery is advisable and needed if the damage to the joint is critical enough to create difficulties in daily life, and if there are other treatments not reducing the pain. Joint replacement surgery has now become very successful and sophisticated. Different joints, including shoulder and elbow, knee and hip in people are routinely replaced with advanced arthritis. Some surgeries are performed with implements and needles without the opening up the joint fully. This is referred to as keyhole surgery or arthroscopy. Small incisions (less than 1 cm) will be made by a surgeon for allowing a special light and camera to get a detailed view inside a joint and as a result lead to an analysis. This is done by an orthopaedic surgeon or a rheumatologist. A joint replacement surgery is the removal of damaged cartilage and replacing it with an artificial joint. A patient with damaged joints due to arthritis or any other injury usually receives this treatment. The replacement joint (prosthesis) is made of polyethylene (pastic), ceramic material, cobalt chrome, stainless steel or titanium. It can either be press-fit or attached to the bone with acrylic cement. This allows the bone to grow into the implant. The patient receives physical therapy once the joint replacement has happened.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

The eligibility criteria for the treatment includes, people with arthritis, people above 40 years of age, people who take heavy strain on their joints like athletes, people with uric acid accumulation problems, and post menopausal women.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Children are precluded from receiving the treatment. Also, people with underlying manifestations of an untreated disease may receive other treatments which will clash and prove contradictory to joint inflammation treatment. In that case it is advisable to not go for a surgery or medications related to joint inflammation.


Are there any side effects?

Due to drug therapy, the immunity of a person will lower down. The deformities of the joint and the quality of the bone may lead to poor outcome. There are some problems which are diagnosis-specific. For example, patients with lupus are prone to avascular necrosis (AVN), a condition which cuts off the blood supply to the bone and ultimately the bone dies. Patients with spondylitis will have difficulty in regaining motion because of stiff tissues from the disease.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

A healthy, low-fat, nutritional and balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits and fibre is extremely for a patient’s general health. In case you are on the medications for arthritis, avoiding or limiting the amount of alcohol is necessary. Keep checking with your doctor to have assurance regarding your joint condition. Do not read books and articles, or take advices on diets that usually claim to cure arthritis. Most of the people don’t benefit from these different and confusing recommendations. An unusual diet will cause more harm than the normal. Chronic arthritis can lead to patients feeling down and stressed most of the time. Sharing these problems with friends and family may also become difficult. Taking counseling sessions from your doctor may help with that to a great extent. Taking a break from your mundane dull life can also be helpful. Try moving to a warmer climate as the weather affects the level of pain you are facing and also makes a difference to your feelings.

How long does it take to recover?

It takes about 4 to 6 weeks to recover from this treatment and to be able to walk around the house without pain.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The price of treatment ranges from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 2,75,000.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Results for only the joint replacement surgery is permanent. Intake of medications will not provide permanent results. Joint inflammation may relapse after some time.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are multiple alternative treatments available for joint inflammation such as adding turmeric to the dishes, regular massages, herbal supplements, including omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, medications to cope up with pain, acupuncture, hot and cold therapy to relieve joint swelling and losing weight.


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Written ByDr. Kailash Kothari MD - Anaesthesiology,MBBSOrthopaedics
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