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5 Important Facts About Arthritis

If you have recently been diagnosed with arthritis, you are sure to have many questions. You may wonder what the cause is? Are there different types? What are my treatment options?

What is arthritis? Arthritis is inflammation in one or more joints of the body that results in pain, swelling, or stiffness. Though it primarily affects adults, even children can be diagnosed with arthritis.

This article will cover 5 important facts you should know about arthritis.

1. There is no Cure for Arthritis

Unlike some conditions and illnesses, we have no cure for arthritis. However, there are treatment options to make the disease manageable. Medications and other treatment options can help control pain, slow down disease progression and reduce joint damage and deformity.

Treatment options can include over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications, prescription medications, steroids, and biologics. Physical therapy is also essential in treating arthritis. Surgical options can be considered in severe cases.


2. Early Diagnosis and Treatment is Essential

Because there are different types of arthritis and many treatment options, it must be diagnosed early to develop a treatment plan. If left untreated, arthritic symptoms can worsen, causing more damage, potentially leading to disability.

Rheumatologists and orthopedic doctors use health history, Lab tests, imaging, and differential diagnosis to determine if the patient has arthritis and the severity.


3. There are two Main Causes- Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of arthritis. It involves the wear and tears to the joint's cartilage. When the cartilage wear is bad enough, the bone grinds directly upon bone causing pain and mobility issues. It usually occurs gradually over many years but can also be caused by an injury or infection.

Another important note is that it can cause changes in the connective tissue attaching muscle to bone. This can cause severe inflammation and swelling.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

With rheumatoid arthritis, the body's immune system attacks the lining of the joints (synovial membrane), which causes inflammation and pain. The disease can eventually cause damage to the cartilage and bone in the joint with time.

Though these are the most common types of arthritis, there are other forms, including post-traumatic, psoriatic arthritis, gout, Ankylosing spondylitis, Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and septic arthritis. There are over 100 different types of arthritic conditions and diseases.


4. There are Risk Factors to be Aware of for Arthritis

Certain factors can put you at risk for arthritis. These can include:

  • Age- All types of arthritis increase with age

  • Gender- Women are more at risk of developing osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and men are more likely to develop gout

  • Family history- If a parent or sibling has arthritis, you may be more at risk

  • Injury to a joint- If you have had a previous injury to a joint at some time, it can eventually lead to arthritis in that joint

  • Obesity- Excess weight puts extra stress on joints which puts people with obesity at a greater risk for arthritis

5. Surgical Treatments may be an Option

An orthopedic surgeon may recommend surgery when non-surgical treatments have failed and the patient still has pain and swelling. Usually, they consider the type of arthritis, severity, and physical limitations.

Surgical procedures may include:

  • Total joint replacement (For example, the robotic-assisted total knee replacement offered at Pinnacle Orthopaedics)

  • Partial joint replacement

  • Realignment of the joint (osteotomy)

  • Removing the diseased or damaged joint lining (synovectomy)

  • Fusing the ends of the bones, preventing motion and relieving pain (fusion)

Your orthopedic surgeon will discuss the risks and benefits with you and develop the best treatment plan for your condition!

Are you looking for the Best in Orthopedics Near me? Contact us at Pinnacle Orthopaedics!

At Pinnacle, we offer a wide variety of quality orthopedic services, including physical therapy, MRI imaging, and surgical services at our several locations.

We use the most up-to-date technology and surgical techniques to provide the best quality care for our patients across the spectrum of orthopedic conditions.

We have five convenient locations to serve our patients:

Contact us today! We look forward to being your partner in orthopedic care!



The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.