Dear Dr. Krant: I am a 55 year-old man who has had osteoarthritis in my feet for 17 years. During the last 3 years it has spread throughout my spine, skull to tailbone, in the shoulders/hips/knees and hands, and nodes on fingers. I also have some difficulty walking. Is this a normal progression, or an extreme variation? You have had osteoarthritis for almost twenty years, beginning in your early 30s. Many people develop aches and pains in the large weight-bearing joints relatively early, even in their twenties. X-ray evidence of joint space narrowing, loose bodies and asymmetry throughout the weight-bearing surfaces usually does not appear until the 40s, although certain people will develop abnormalities early on. This is particularly true when cartilage has been surgically removed from the knees, when work involves repetitive lifting, bending and weight-bearing heavy loads, and when there is a genetic link to an affected parent. Nodes on the fingers (called Heberden...
Ask someone with rheumatoid arthritis to tell you about their biggest frustration and chances are they'll mention the misconception that RA is like osteoarthritis (OA). To help you educate those around you, HealthCentral's RA community will be featuring a trio of posts with information and stories that can help others understand. We'd like to thank Tiffany Westrich, the CEO and cofounder of the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement, who will be working with us on this project. Today, she's writing about what it's like to live with RA .
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. In cases of RA, this causes inflammation in joints and tendons. RA is a chronic illness, there is no cure. We do not know what causes RA, but gingivitis, smoking and a particular bacteria in the gut are implicated in triggering the immune response that leads to the development of the disease.
Osteaoarthritis is a...
This test is an x-ray of a knee, shoulder, hip, wrist, ankle, or other joint.
X-ray - joint; Arthrography; Arthrogram
How the test is performed
The test is done in a hospital radiology department or in the health care provider's office. The x-ray technologist will help you position the joint to be x-rayed on the table. Once in place, pictures are taken. The joint may be repositioned for different views.
How to prepare for the test
Inform the health care provider if you are pregnant. Remove all jewelry.
How the test will feel
The x-ray is not uncomfortable, except possibly from positioning the area being x-rayed.
Why the test is performed
Thex-ray is used to detect fractures , tumors, or degenerative conditions of the joint.
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