Arthrosis is a disease caused by wear and tear and ageing of the joints. Professor Carlo Selmi, Head of Clinical Rheumatology and Immunology at Humanitas, guest in the Tutta salute study at Rai 3, spoke about this topic.

“Arthrosis is linked to joint consumption: the bone in the joint is coated with cartilage and when the cartilage is consumed, as for example with advancing age, the joint becomes less efficient and produces pain when used. In fact, cartilage maintains the right distance between the two bony heads, allowing them to function without pain and with maximum efficiency,” explains Professor Selmi.


Symptoms of Arthrosis

“So-called mechanical pain is typical of osteoarthritis. Patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, for example, experience pain when descending stairs. The other symptom is the roar, a typical noise of joint consumption.

Arthrosis mainly affects the load-bearing joints, such as the cervical column and lumbar area, the knees, the first fingers of the hands and feet (thumb and big toe), but the shoulders are less affected”, continued the specialist.


Preliminary factors

“We only know the risk factors of arthrosis, which for the most part cannot be modified, and include predisposing conditions: family history, age and the female sex.

Arthrosis can also occur very early, at 20-30-40 years of age, especially if it is secondary and results from an architectural problem in the skeleton; anything that leads to misalignment of the joint (such as valgus or knee varus) can cause arthrosis. Overweight and obesity are also important risk factors for osteoarthritis, both for the parts of the body that carry the load as well as the hips, knees and feet, and for the hands,” stressed Professor Selmi.


How is arthrosis treated?

“When faced with a diagnosis of arthrosis the first thing to do is stop the pain. In this sense, painkiller drugs that act on the pain are useful. In some cases, infiltration cycles of hyaluronic acid, a lubricant that reduces the pressure on the joint with a pain-relieving effect, may also be indicated. These infiltrations induce well-being for a few months and delay, for example, the evaluation for a prosthesis,” concluded the specialist.

Professor Selmi also answered many questions from listeners and explained, for example, the difference between arthrosis and arthritis.


Watch the full interview from 11.42 minute, click here