Information for Patients
A fistula is an abnormal connection between two parts inside of the body. Fistulas may develop between different organs, such as between the esophagus and the windpipe or the bowel and the vagina. They can also develop between two blood vessels, such as between an artery and a vein or between two arteries.
Some people are born with a fistula. Other common causes of fistulas include
- Complications from surgery
- Diseases, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
Treatment depends on the cause of the fistula, where it is, and how bad it is. Some fistulas will close on their own. In some cases, you may need antibiotics and/or surgery.
A joint is where two or more bones come together, like the knee, hip, elbow, or shoulder. Joints can be damaged by many types of injuries or diseases, including
- Arthritis - inflammation of a joint. It causes pain, stiffness, and swelling. Over time, the joint can become severely damaged.
- Bursitis - inflammation of a fluid-filled sac that cushions the joint
- Dislocations - injuries that force the ends of the bones out of position
Treatment of joint problems depends on the cause. If you have a sports injury, treatment often begins with the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) method to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and speed healing. Other possible treatments include pain relievers, keeping the injured area from moving, rehabilitation, and sometimes surgery. For arthritis, injuries, or other diseases, you may need joint replacement surgery to remove the damaged joint and put in a new one.
NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases