Post-Traumatic Arthritis

What is post-traumatic arthritis?

Post-traumatic arthritis can develop if, after an injury to the joint, the bone and cartilage don’t heal properly. When this happens, the joint is no longer smooth, which can lead to extra wear on the joint. Post-traumatic arthritis often follows serious injury to the hip, or repeated high impact or force to the joint.

What are the symptoms of post-traumatic arthritis?

Injury to a joint, such as a bad sprain or fracture, can cause damage to the articular cartilage. Once this cartilage is damaged, it doesn’t normally grow back. Instead, scar tissue replaces it, which doesn’t protect or cushion the bones in the joint as effectively.

How is post-traumatic arthritis treated?

Post-traumatic arthritis is treated in a similar way to similarly to osteoarthritis.

To diagnose you properly and offer the right treatment, your doctor will consider your symptoms and medical history, examine your joints, and arrange one or more diagnostic tests. For example, he or she may suggest blood tests, X-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI scan, to get a clear view of the joint’s alignment and general condition.

Based on the results of these tests, your doctor will then discuss the best treatment options with you. Depending on the severity of your arthritis, how much it restricts your movement and the pain you’re experiencing, treatments may include:

  • Pain relief – using medicines such as paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Exercise and weight loss – an exercise programme designed specifically for you, and a weight loss programme if you are overweight.
  • A surgical procedure or joint replacement surgery – if your OA symptoms and pain levels are no longer controlled with other therapies.

Always discuss your treatment options with your doctor.

What causes hip pain?

What causes hip pain?

Hip pain is sometimes caused by deformity or injury, but one of the most common causes is osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD). Although affected by things like age, weight, joint function and general activity levels, arthritis in the hip is basically the result of your hip’s cartilage lining wearing away slowly over time, and the bones beginning to rub against each other. This causes friction, swelling, pain, stiffness, and instability.

How does arthritis affect the hip?

Arthritis is one of the most common causes of joint disorders, and is the major cause of disability and chronic pain in Australia, affecting 3.85 million Australians1.  And as the average age rises, the number of people with arthritis is also growing. In fact, leading researcher Access Economics suggests 7 million Australians will suffer some form of arthritis by 2050, based on current trends2.

See how arthritis affects the hip in this video:

What can you do about hip pain?

There are many ways to help relieve your pain

The causes of hip pain include:

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What causes knee pain?

What causes knee pain?

Usually, knee pain and loss of mobility is caused by the joint's cartilage lining wearing away. When this happens, the bones rub directly against each other, causing pain and swelling. One of the most common causes is osteoarthritis (OA), which often happens following trauma or direct injury to the knee. Without cartilage, there’s no ‘shock absorber’ between the bones in the joint, so stress builds up in the bones and causes pain and discomfort.

How does arthritis affect the knee?

Arthritis is one of the most common causes of joint disorders, and is a major cause of disability and chronic pain in Australia, affecting around 3.85 million people 1. And as the average age rises, the number of people with arthritis is also growing. In fact, leading researcher Access Economics suggests 7 million Australians will suffer some form of arthritis by 2050, based on current trends2.  

Watch this short video to learn how arthritis can affect your knee.

You don't have to live with knee pain

There are many ways to treat and help relieve pain

References
1, 2     Painful realities: The economic impact of arthritis in Australia 2007 (REPORT BY ACCESS ECONOMICS PTY LIMITED FOR ARTHRITIS AUSTRALIA 31 JULY 2007)

The causes of knee pain include:

Next Steps

Contact your GP or health professional to discuss your options