Aches and pains of muscles and joints are quite common and often give rise to significant disabilities. Yet early treatment can prevent gradual deterioration. Treatment does not necessarily mean surgery – the problems could be amenable to physiotherapy, orthoses (for example splints and supports), or injections. However, proper clinical diagnosis is vital, and appropriate investigations (X rays, Scans, blood tests) will help to treat a disease process. For example: joint sprains are treated by splints and physiotherapy, painful feet or heel pain by appropriate insoles, bursitis by injections.
Identifying & Recovery
- In some cases surgery gives quick recovery and excellent results eg. hip and knee replacements. Keyhole surgery is also available with predictable results.
- Many joints are inter-related, especially the hips and knees.
- Disease of one joint can give rise to pain in another joint.
- Thus it is incredibly important to perform thorough clinical examinations to accurately identify the underlying condition.
Prof. Purkayastha strongly believes that there is no substitute for proper clinical examination, and both practises and advocates this belief amongst his colleagues and students.
Pain in these joints is common in all age group. Pain may be due to arthritis, inflammatory diseases, cartilage problems. All these do not need surgery always & can be managed by physiotherapy, medications, orthoses etc. Joint replacements give excellent results in many patients. Knee problems could be dealt with by key hole surgery.
True pain from the hip joint is experienced in the groin region. Acute hip pain with reduction of movements, demands emergency treatment as the diagnosis could be septic arthritis or osteomyelitis (infection of the bone). Other causes of hip pain are inflammation, arthritis, trauma, Perthes’ Disease etc. Often a hip disease results in pain of the knee.
Children often suffer with knee pain, especially at the front of the joint, which may be activity related. The pain could be due to chondromalacia patella (softening of the gristle behind the kneecap), Osgood Schlater disease, jumper’s knee, cartilage problems etc. Often the pain over the knee joint is referred from problems of the hip joint like Perthes’ disease, slipped upper femoral epiphysis. A thorough examination of the hip is required to exclude these problems.