Pathological Conditions Affecting Musculoskeletal Systems

8 03 2010

A pathological condition is an abnormal anatomical or physiological condition and the objective or subjective manifestation of disease, not classified as disease or syndrome. (MDIBL, “Pathological Conditions, Signs and Symptoms”) An example of such a condition would be hallux abducto valgus, more commonly referred to as bunions. Bunions are formed due to a genetic malformed bone structure in the foot, wherein the first metatarsal joint is misaligned and the joint becomes swollen and painful. There are non-invasive methods to lessen the pain, such as wearing custom made orthotic shoes, foot braces, having corticosteroid injections or simply icing the inflammation. Invasive surgery is an option for bunions that are more advanced. (ACFAS, “Bunions”) This pathological condition is amplified by wearing improperly sized shoes, repetitive impact to the area through running or excessive walking. (Ioni, “Four Common Foot Problems”)

The malformation of the foot bone can be caused by another pathological condition, known as Marfan Syndrome. Marfan Syndrome, named for the French pediatrician Antoine Marfan, affects various parts of the body, including the skeletal system, causing bones to grow to a disproportionate length and thereby fall out of alignment. Marfan Syndrome can create a wide variety of issues in an individual, from protruding or inverted sternum to kyphosis to forms of arthritis. Depending on the type of infliction the patient is suffering, there are various methods of alleviating the pain of the symptoms, but ultimately, most methods require a form of surgery or corrective braces for musculoskeletal impacts due to Marfan Syndrome. (NIAMS, “Marfan Syndrome”)

Scoliosis can be the result of Marfan Syndrome, but most generally the cause of scoliosis is undetermined. This pathological condition creates a curvature to the spinal cord and can lead to greater problems later in life, such as osteoporosis, in addition to the physical pain of the spine. When the condition is found early on in growth doctors often use supportive braces to manage the malformation and try to prevent further curvation until the growth plates close. Most often though this does not fix the malady and sufferers later have to undergo surgery to correct the issue. The surgery often includes the implanting of a metal rod and fusing of the bones in the spine. (SRS, “Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis”)

Pathological conditions of the musculoskeletal system can be painful and disfiguring and are often genetic. When they impact the bone structure during growth, the damage is permanent without the use of corrective treatments, which can range from non-invasive splints and braces to reconstructive surgeries.

Work Cited

“Pathological Conditions, Signs and Symptoms.”  Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory. Tues. 9 Mar. 2010. <www.mdibl.org>

“Bunions.” American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.  Tues. 9 March 2010. <www.footphysicians.com>

“Four Common Foot Problems.” Dr. James Ioni, Harvard Medical School. Harvard Health Publications. August 2009. Tues. 9 March 2010. <www.harvard.edu>

“Marfan Syndrome.” National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institute of Health.  August 2007. Tues. 9 March 2010. < http://www.niams.nih.gov&gt;

“Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis.” Scoliosis Research Society. Mon. 8 March 2010. <www.srs.org>

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