A joint in a human body is where two bones meet and can be classified as ball-and-socket, hinge, pivot, or ellipsoidal. Cartilage covers the surface of the bone at the joint and helps to reduce friction during movement. The synovial membrane lines the joint and releases synovial fluid to lubricate the joint and allow for easier movement. Ligaments are connective tissues around the joints and act like strong elastic bands to support and limit joint movement. Tendons attach the muscle to the joint to regulate movement.
There are three major joints that are often damaged by injury, disease, or aging (normal wear-and-tear):
The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint located where the thigh bone meets the pelvic bone. The upper end of the thigh is formed into a round spherical shape. A cavity in the pelvic bone forms the socket. The ball is held in the socket by ligaments that form a complete sleeve around the joint. The head of the femur is covered with a layer of synovial membrane-smooth and soft tissue that produces lubricative fluid. The socket is also lined with cartilage, which cushions the joint and allows the bones to move on each other with very little friction.
The knee joint is a hinge joint and is the junction of three bones: the femur (thigh bone or upper leg bone), the tibia (shin bone or larger bone of the lower leg), and the patella (kneecap). The patella is 2 to 3 inches wide and 3 to 4 inches long. It sits over the other bones at the front of the knee and slides when the knee moves. It protects the knee and gives leverage to muscles to enable movement while providing stability and strength to support the weight of the body,
The shoulder joint is another example of a ball-and-socket joint and is composed of three bones: the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the humerus (upper arm bone). They are held in place by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Tendons are tough cords of tissue that hold the shoulder muscles to bones. They help the muscles move the shoulder. Ligaments hold the shoulder bones to each other and help make the shoulder joint stable.
There are two major types of arthritis that contribute to joint damage: Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
In arthritis, the joints are inflamed, and joint cartilage is damaged. There is usually an early onset of pain that is due to the inflammation. When the cartilage is worn away, pain results from the mechanical friction of raw bones rubbing on each other. This is known as mechanical pain. Additionally, fragments of cartilage floating in the joint may cause inflammation in the joint lining.
Our treatment for joint diseases are: