There are many disorders and diseases that can afflict the synovial joints, making the ball and socket joint vulnerable to pain and discomfort. Degenerative or inflammatory diseases, conditions involving the membranes around the joints, generalized and congenital disorders, and dislocations and fractures can all cause damage to ball and socket joints.
Arthritis is one of the conditions that causes pain and dysfunction in the ball and socket joint. There are several types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that affects the cartilage in the joints, and it can cause inflammation in the tissues surrounding the affected joint or joints. Degeneration is commonly thought to be caused by stress
on the joints or by injury to the joint lining. Osteoarthritis can affect all joints, but it is usually found in the fingers, feet, hips, spine, and knees. It causes joint stiffness and pain. Symptoms of osteoarthritis can be treated, but the disease is irreversible.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that involves the muscles and the membrane linings of cartilage and joints. The areas commonly affected are the hands, hips, knees, legs, and joints. The symptoms include low-grade fever, stiffness in the morning, and redness, pain, warmth, and tenderness in the affected joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause crippling pain and deformities of the hands and causes painful swelling of the joints.
Hip dysplasia is a dislocation of the hip joint that can be caused either by a congenital condition or by an accident. Dysplasia occurs when the thighbone (femur) does not fit correctly into or pops out of the cup-shaped socket at the hipbone (acetabulum). If hip dysplasia is caused by a congenital condition, the acetabulum is too shallow to hold the head of the femur. Physical therapy can help remedy the problem by deepening the cavity of the socket. Accidental hip dislocation is usually caused by a hip fracture.
Peggy E. Browning, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,