Rheumatic arthritis growing at an alarming rate in the youngsters, worry doctors

Arthritis has troubled innumerable people in their old age for many years. It’s a painful condition that causes joint pain in your body. However, in the last few decades, there is a steady increase in the number of youths suffering from rheumatic arthritis

An elderly hand with Rheumatoid Arthritis

While the growth, at which the younger generation is undergoing, is disturbing, the reasons for this are many varying from injuries, hereditary among others.

Recently, a 26-year-old patient, at Nanavati Hospital, complained of severe knee pain, stiffness, inability to straighten his knee and walk without an aid. For many years now, he has been suffering from Rheumatic arthritis. A bike accident initiated the pain, and swelling in the knee worsened the condition. Post-recovery from the accident, the youth had to use a stick to walk with fixed bent knee, stiffness, and pain. The only option for him was a total knee replacement. He underwent successful surgery and is now able to walk and enjoy near normal activities.

A recent survey revealed, one in every four individuals, under the age of 40, suffers from arthritis. Many youngsters are getting total knee replacement done due to many reasons. One of the reasons is sports injuries and accidents, that can damage the cartilage or cause a loose body in the joint ligament. Injuries aggravate arthritis, and can only be managed with implants or replacement surgeries. Rheumatic arthritis affects the multiple joints, hands, knees, elbows, and hip. It destroys the cartilage which leads to severe deformity, pain, stiffness, and loss of function in the body. Sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and lack of exercise are other reasons due to which arthritis in the younger generation is prevailing. These days, an adequate amount of healthy food and exercise is missing from day to day life of the youth.

Prof. Dr Pradeep Bhosale, Director, Arthritis and Joint Replacement Surgery, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, said, “Rheumatic Arthritis cannot be eliminated, however, with modern day medication, it can be controlled. Hence, if we can control the disease before the destruction of cartilage, there will be no deformity. It is an irreversible process, once the cartilage is damaged, and in such conditions, arthritis cannot be controlled without surgery.”

He further added, “The awareness of joint replacement surgery has improved the modern diagnostic facilities. The transplants used in India are of best quality. Moreover, the beauty of the transplant is that the patient, who is bedridden for years, can walk without pain and live a near normal life.”

Joint replacement was never advised to the younger generation, however, in the last 10-15 years, there has been an increase in joint replacement among the younger generation. The Government of India has also taken steps in reducing the prices of implants. The advances in diagnostic have improved approachability of the patients to the doctors.