At one point or another, most people fall victim to arthritis. It’s an inflammation of the joints that cause pain and make movement difficult. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, with the two most common being osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Osteoarthritis is primarily caused by wear and tear on the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system, which is supposed to protect the body by ridding it of foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses, instead attacks the joints.
At the offices of Woodworth Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, our team of orthopedists is highly skilled in the treatment of RA, which involves a three-step approach: stopping the inflammation, relieving symptoms, and preventing joint and organ damage.
About 1.5 million people in the U.S. have rheumatoid arthritis, affecting three times as many women as men. The condition most commonly afflicts the joints of the hands, feet, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles, but it can also affect vital body functions, such as the cardiovascular or respiratory systems.
The cause of RA is not yet fully understood, but early diagnosis and aggressive treatment are definitively needed to control its effects. If it’s not treated, RA is capable of injuring cartilage (the flexible tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint) and the bones themselves. Over time, cartilage is lost, and joints can become loose, unstable, painful and deformed, often accompanied by loss of mobility.
Treatment options for RA vary depending on the symptoms and severity of the disease. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used primarily to ease the symptoms of pain and inflammation. Corticosteroids and biologics work to slow disease activity, and surgical options may be used to restore function in joints that have been badly damaged by RA. We assess each case individually and develop a customized treatment plan for each patient.
The office of Woodworth Orthopedics and Sports Medicine has the highest standard of joint and bone health. We’re dedicated to providing superb orthopedic care. For more information about our office and many services, please call us today.
By Woodworth Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
June 26, 2023