hey Pope Francis canceled his trip to Africa due to health problems – he was due to travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and southern sudan in early July. last week, Vatican Announced that the reason for the postponement, with no date of return to the continent, is a disease that is in the knee of the 85-year-old pontiff: osteoarthritis,
“I am sorry to postpone this visit, which I am still looking forward to undertake,” Francis said in his Sunday speech in front of thousands of people in St Peter’s Square.
He said, “I ask you to forgive me for this. Let us all pray together that with God’s help and medical treatment, I can reach you as soon as possible. We hope.”
Pope seen in wheelchair
Osteoarthritis is also called osteoarthritis, osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease, according to the Brazilian Society of Rheumatology (SBR).
It is a condition characterized by breakdown of joint cartilage and bone changes, Among them, osteophytes, better known as “parrot beaks”.
Among arthritis – a group of more than 200 diseases that affect joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons – osteoarthritis is the most frequent and represents about 30% to 40% of consultations in rheumatology clinics.
“Its importance can be demonstrated through social security data in Brazil, as it accounts for 7.5% of all absenteeism from work; it is the second disease among those who justify early assistance, 7.5% of the total. With respect to sickness benefit (in detail), it is the fourth one to determine retirement (6.2%) with 10.5%”, states the SBR.
The Syrian Benevolent Association – Hcor explains that the main reason is aging.
It is common for patients to have no family history of the condition, but after the age of 50, due to natural wear and tear, they develop osteoarthritis. In addition, there are other possible causes:
- activities that may overload one or more joints;
- continuous sports such as soccer and tennis;
- decreased muscle strength, especially in the legs;
- extracurricular activities that require repetitive movements, such as kneeling and lifting;
- trauma, such as a fall, sprain or injury;
- family history.
According to the hospital Israeli Albert Einstein, there is no cure for osteoarthritis. However, resources are available to slow disease progression and enhance quality of life.
- Traditional Treatment: Combines medications (analgesics and anti-inflammatory) and physical therapy.
“In the early stages, arthroscopy may also be an ally. With the help of a microcamera and appropriate equipment, this minimally invasive surgical technique allows to treat a range of joint injuries, such as the meniscus, and protruding fragments.” Removal of cartilaginous tissue in the arthrosis process”, explains the hospital.
- New treatments: There are also prescription herbal medicines with anti-inflammatory action. According to Einstein, products of plant origin have little effect on the stomach and kidneys.
In addition, according to Einstein, the implantation of cartilage cells extracted from patients and grown in the laboratory is under development, and transplantation of cartilage taken from cadavers. At the moment, these are the processes of trial and research phase.