Arthritis: An overview

Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints that causes pain and stiffness. While arthritis is mainly an adult disease, some forms affect children.

There are many types of arthritis. Some of these include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, septic arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.

While each of these conditions have different causes, the symptoms and treatment are often the same. Pain, swelling, and stiffness are the primary symptoms of arthritis. Any joint in the body may be affected by the disease, but it is particularly common in weight-bearing joints such as the knee, hip, and spine.

Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are many treatment options available to help manage pain and keep people staying active.

 Shoulder Arthritis

In 2011, more than 50 million people in the United States reported that they had been diagnosed with some form of arthritis, according to the National Health Interview Survey. Simply defined, arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. In a diseased shoulder, inflammation causes pain and stiffness.

Although there is no cure for arthritis of the shoulder, there are many treatment options available. Using these, most people with arthritis are able to manage pain and stay active.


Also known as "wear-and-tear" arthritis, osteoarthritis is a condition that destroys the smooth outer covering (articular cartilage) of bone. As the cartilage wears away, it becomes frayed and rough, and the protective space between the bones decreases. During movement, the bones of the joint rub against each other, causing pain.

Osteoarthritis usually affects people over 50 years of age and is more common in the acromioclavicular joint than in the glenohumeral shoulder joint.

Reverse Shoulder Replacement

Reverse shoulder replacement is a type of shoulder replacement in which the normal ball and socket relationship of glenohumeral joint is reversed, creating a more stable joint with a fixed fulcrum. 


This form of shoulder replacement is utilized in situations in which conventional shoulder replacement surgery would lead to poor outcomes and high failure rates.

Originally considered a salvage procedure, the combination of improved design features and excellent clinical outcome data has led to reverse shoulder replacement largely replacing shoulder hemiarthroplasty for most indications and even challenging conventional anatomic shoulder replacement in many countries as the most commonly performed shoulder replacement procedure.

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 Base of Thumb Arthritis

The trapezium bone sits at the bottom of the thumb to form the ‘first CMC joint’. This bone is very prone to wear and tear which can be a painful process and limit hand function.
A trapeziectomy surgery is completed when the pain becomes difficult to manage and the bone is removed. There are different variations of this surgery, each with a different post-surgery rehabilitation plan. 
During a trapeziectomy and mini-tight rope surgery the trapezium bone is completely removed. The thumb is given extra stability by means of a ‘mini-tight rope’ securing it to the very base of the index finger. Think of this as a very tough internal suture. This allows you to start progressing with your therapy plan a bit sooner than other surgeries where the stability of the thumb is more reliant upon scar tissue forming.

Thumb Metacarpal Arthritis Repair with  CMC Mini TightRop

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What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a term used by doctors to describe inflammation within a joint, although there are several forms of the condition and each has a specific medical name.


Rheumatism is a more general term that’s used to describe aches and pains in or around the joints. Because there are many possible causes of these pains, doctors don’t often use the term ‘rheumatism’ and will usually refer to these problems either by a specific diagnosis or according to the part of the body affected. Doctors sometimes use the terms ‘musculoskeletal conditions’ or ‘rheumatic diseases’ to refer to a whole range of conditions that affect the joints.


Osteoarthritis (os-tee-o-arth-ri-tus) is a very common condition of the joints. It’s most common in people over the age of about 45, but younger adults may sometimes develop it.

It can affect any joint in the body. However, it’s most likely to affect the joints that bear most of our weight, such as the knees and hips. Joints that we use a lot in everyday life, such as the joints of the hand, are also commonly affected.

A joint is where two or more bones meet. In a healthy joint, a coating of tough but smooth and slippery tissue called cartilage, covers
the surface of the bones and helps the bones to move against each other without friction

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (roo-ma-toy-d arth-ri-tus) is a condition that can cause pain, swelling and stiffness in joints.

It is known as an autoimmune condition. This means that the immune system, which is the body’s natural self-defence system, gets confused and starts to attack your body’s healthy tissues.

In rheumatoid arthritis, the main way it does this is with inflammation (in-fla-may-shun) in your joints. 

Rheumatoid arthritis affects around 400,000 adults aged 16 and over in the UK. It can affect anyone of any age. It can get worse quickly, so early diagnosis and intensive treatment are important.

The sooner you start treatment, the more effective it’s likely to be. To understand how rheumatoid arthritis develops, it helps to know how a normal joint works.

Total Elbow Replacements

In total elbow replacement surgery, the damaged parts of the humerus and ulna are replaced with artificial components. The artificial elbow joint is made up of a metal and plastic hinge with two metal stems. The stems fit inside the hollow part of the bone called the canal.

There are different types of elbow replacements, and components come in different sizes. There are also partial elbow replacements, which may be used in very specific situations. A discussion with your doctor will help to determine what type of elbow replacement is best for you.