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What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is the inflammation or the disorder in the joints. The two common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs due to aging and it effect fingers, knees and hips. Rheumatoid Arthritis affects the hands and feet of the patients. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. Other types of arthritis are caused due to infections, uric acid crystals or underlying diseases.

What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis?

Some of the signs and symptoms are:

  • Stiffness of the hands and feet especially in the mornings
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Difficulty when moving or walking
  • Muscle pains and joint pains
  • Loss of flexibility
  • Swelling and tenderness

What Are The Common Causes Of Arthritis?

Arthritis is more common in women than in men. Aging, obesity, and hereditary factors can increase the risk of getting arthritis. Sometimes, an injury to the joints can lead to arthritis. The wear and tear of the joint cartilage causes osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis is caused when the autoimmune system attacks the joints. Arthritis isn’t a single disease but a group of conditions that affect joints, causing pain, stiffness, and inflammation. As such, the cause of arthritis varies depending on the specific type involved. Here are some of the main causes:

Joint wear and tear:
  • Osteoarthritis is the most common type, caused by the gradual breakdown of cartilage, the protective cushioning in joints. Age, overuse, and obesity are significant risk factors.

  • Immune system malfunction:
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Here, the immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of joints, leading to inflammation and damage. Genetics and environmental triggers play a role.
  • Psoriatic arthritis: This can occur alongside psoriasis, an autoimmune skin condition.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis mainly affects the spine and is associated with the HLA-B27 gene.

  • Crystal buildup: Gout occurs when uric acid crystals accumulate in joints, causing severe pain and inflammation. They are often linked to diet and purine metabolism.

    Reactive arthritis: Triggered by infections elsewhere in the body, like urinary tract infections.

    It’s important to note that for some forms of arthritis, the exact cause remains unknown. If you’re concerned about arthritis, it’s crucial to consult a doctor for diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Early intervention can help manage symptoms and slow disease progression.  

    How Is Arthritis Diagnosed?

    • X-rays – to detect cartilage loss, bone loss and bone spurs
    • Computerized tomography (CT) scans –  to view the internal structures
    • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – to view the detailed structure of the tissues, cartilages and ligaments
    • Ultrasound technology – to see the structure of tissues and cartilages
    • Blood tests – to check the presence of arthritides

    What Are The Treatment Options For Arthritis?

    The treatment of arthritis depends on the symptoms the patient is experiencing, the damage the condition has already caused and the objective of the treatment. Some of the treatment options are:

    Physical Therapy: Exercises for the joints help in the movement. They are helpful in strengthening of the muscles and joints. Yoga and massages can provide relief from the pain and improve flexibility.

    Medications: Painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce the pain and swelling. Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and biologics (drugs made from the living organisms) are recommended to treat the disease.

    Surgery: In extreme cases where the medication and other treatments are not helpful, the doctors may suggest a surgery.

    Joint Repair Surgery: Small incisions over the joint are made to repair the joint. This surgery will reduce the pain and improve the movement.

    Joint Replacement: Damaged joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint. The surgery is usually performed on hip and knee joints.

    Joint Fusion: Bones in the joints is removed and locked together till they heal. This procedure is done for small joints like wrists, ankles and finger.

    A note from Impact Orthopedic Surgeons:

    Conquer Arthritis, Reclaim Your Life: Impact Orthopedic Center is renowned for using state-of-the-art technology in diagnosis, treatment, and post-surgery care for all Orthopaedic-related ailments and injuries. Get your Arthritis treated here with our expert Orthopedic team. We are dedicated to guiding you through every step of Arthritis treatment.

    Choose Our Hospital, Choose the Best Care For Yourself