FROM OUR EXPERTS
In short, rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease which attacks joints in the body. It can affect the alignment and positioning of those joints, even to the extent that they become stuck in a bent position or become dislocated. Bone erosion caused by RA may make the ends of bones rough and irregular. Patients may eventually notice that their fingers begin to shift toward the direction of their elbow.
In previous posts, we have discussed different types of surgery used in patients living with rheumatoid arthritis, including synovectomy, tendon repair, and carpal tunnel release. Today’s discussion centers around joint replacement and implants.
What is Joint Replacement?
One would think that this is a simple question, right? Take the joint out and put a fake or replacement one in. But in researching this subject, I found it rather difficult to find information which went much beyond this simple concept without become ...
Article updated and reviewed by Ariel D. Teitel, MD, MBA, Chief, Division of Rheumatology, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Manhattan. Editorial review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network on May 2, 2005.Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease, primarily involving the peripheral joints (finger joints, wrists, toes and knees) and surrounding muscles, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels.This disease is among the autoimmune disorders (an abnormal immune response to oneself which leads to a sequence of tissue reactions and damage that may produce diffuse, systemic signs and symptoms).Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) can be one of the most disabling types of arthritis. It occurs worldwide, affecting more than 6.5 million people in the U.S. alone. It affects about 1% of people. The disease strikes women three times more often than men. Although it can occur at any age, the peak onset period is between the ages of 35 and 50. The disease may come on slowly or appear suddenly.RA usuall...
Alternative NamesJoint inflammationSymptomsArthritis causes joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited movement. Symptoms can include:Joint painJoint swellingReduced ability to move the jointRedness of the skin around a jointStiffness, especially in the morningWarmth around a jointSigns and testsThe health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history.The physical exam may show:Fluid around a jointWarm, red, tender jointsDifficulty moving a joint (called "limited range of motion")Some types of arthritis may cause joint deformity. This may be a sign of severe, untreated rheumatoid arthritis.Blood tests and joint x-rays are often done to check for infection and other causes of arthritis.Your doctor may also remove a sample of joint fluid with a needle and send it to a lab for examination.
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