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Management of limited joint mobility in diabetic patients

Authors Abate M, Schiavone C, Salini V, Andia I

Received 28 February 2013

Accepted for publication 4 April 2013

Published 7 May 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 197—207

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S33943

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Michele Abate,1 Cosima Schiavone,1 Vincenzo Salini,1 Isabel Andia2

1Department of Medicine and Science of Aging, University G d'Annunzio, Chieti-Pescara, Italy; 2BioCruces Health Research Institute, Cruces University Hospital, Barakaldo, Spain

Abstract: Several rheumatologic manifestations are more pronounced in subjects with diabetes, ie, frozen shoulder, rotator cuff tears, Dupuytren's contracture, trigger finger, cheiroarthropathy in the upper limb, and Achilles tendinopathy and plantar fasciitis in the lower limb. These conditions can limit the range of motion of the affected joint, thereby impairing function and ability to perform activities of daily living. This review provides a short description of diabetes-related joint diseases, the specific pathogenetic mechanisms involved, and the role of inflammation, overuse, and genetics, each of which activates a complex sequence of biochemical alterations. Diabetes is a causative factor in tendon diseases and amplifies the damage induced by other agents as well. According to an accepted hypothesis, damaged joint tissue in diabetes is caused by an excess of advanced glycation end products, which forms covalent cross-links within collagen fibers and alters their structure and function. Moreover, they interact with a variety of cell surface receptors, activating a number of effects, including pro-oxidant and proinflammatory events. Adiposity and advanced age, commonly associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus, are further pathogenetic factors. Prevention and strict control of this metabolic disorder is essential, because it has been demonstrated that limited joint motion is related to duration of the disease and hyperglycemia. Several treatments are used in clinical practice, but their mechanisms of action are not completely understood, and their efficacy is also debated.

Keywords: diabetes mellitus, joint mobility, diabetic complication, tendon

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