Nihal U. Siddiqui, MD, PA

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Overview:

Arthritis is an rheumatic disease that characterized by inflammation of one or two joints the  connective tissues in the body which can cause pain, swelling and stiffness. Arthritis is a kind of chronic because its rarely changes and its progress is very slow. And there is no specific reason behind arthritis disease. Arthritis can affect all age people but mostly it affects old age people because osteoarthritis, which is the most common form of arthritis occurs often old age people.

Symptoms:

There are some early signs and symptoms of arthritis disease. The symptoms and signs are very characteristic of rheumatoid disease.

  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Joint tenderness
  • Joint swelling
  • Joint redness
  • Joint warmth
  • Joint stiffness
  • Loss of joint range motion
  • Many joints affected
  • Limping
  • Joint deformity
  • Both side of the body effected
  • Loss of joint function
  • Anemia
  • Fever

Causes:

There are not actual reason behind arthritis. It is really very painful that no one can imagine. Some are :

  • Infection
  • Injury
  • Virus
  • Bacteria
  • Swelling
  • Uric acid
  • Lyme disease
  • Painful and stiff joints
  • Occupations which are very physically demanding
  • Smoking
  • Genetic and family risk
  • Lifestyle and trigger factors

Swelling may cause mainly for two reasons, either for the lining of the joints called synovium or the synovial fluid increase in volume.

Post traumatic arthritis caused by any kind of injury in the joint portion. The injury may be sports, a vehicle accident, a fall, a military injury, or any kind of physical trauma.

Infectious arthritis known as septic arthritis. It caused by bacteria which is known as staphylococcus aureus. It develops when an existing infection of the body streams through the blood into the body joint.

Viral arthritis causes due to pathogenic viral infection. Many different types of viruses can cause this disease.

  • Enterovirus
  • Dengue virus
  • Hepatitis A/B/C
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Human parvo virus B19
  • Mumps
  • Rubella virus
  • Alphaviruses
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Flavivirus
  • Retrovirus

Gram positive bacteria cause infectious arthritis. Its occur due to skin or sinus infection after surgery.

Gouty arthritis or gout an inflammatory disease occur due to excess uric acid sodium urate crystals in the bloodstream which can effect joints of the body.

Lyme disease and joint pain is an indication of Lyme arthritis disease. Its an infection caused by bacterium carried by deer ticks. The infection may spread to heart, joints, nervous system and makes difficult to treat this disorder.

There are some tendencies that arthritis can pass through the genetics.

Types: maximum diseases fall into one of two categories: degenerative arthritis, includes osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis includes rheumatoid arthritis. There are several types of arthritis.

Description given below

  • Osteoarthritis: it is the most common type of arthritis and it appears to the old age people but sometimes may occur to the young people as well. This chronic disease includes knee, spine and hip pain.
  • Fibromyalgia: it’s a chronic disease and involve muscle and soft tissue pain in the joints.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: it is an inflammatory disease and effects mostly joints of the hand and feet and tend to both side of the body.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis: its mainly effects the spine and it might lead to the bones joint.
  • Gout: it’s a painful inflammation due to uric acid in joints. It commonly affects big toe, knee, elbow, wrist and fingertips.
  • Juvenile arthritis: it’s a form of arthritis which appears in children at the age of 16 or younger, causes inflammation and stiffness of joints more than 6 weeks. This disease can effect growing child bone development.
  • Pseudogout: it’s a type of inflammatory arthritis that can affect any joint but most commonly on the knee joint. It’s a type of  inflammatory occurs due to pyrophosphate crystals accumulate in a joint.
  • Reactive arthritis: its an inflammatory arthritis occurs as a reaction to an infection. It causes inflammation in the eyes and skin problems.

Diagnosis:

Patient need to go to doctor for better treatment. Doctor will check joints of swelling, redness and warmth and according to suspection doctor will prescribe some test. Among them some are shortlisted. Details are given below:

  • Laboratory test: to detect actual reason and type of disease through body fluids can analyze what kind of arthritis patient have. Fluids are commonly blood, urine and joint fluids. To obtain a sample from patients joint, doctors will clear up the joint fluids and numb it through aspirin.
  • Imaging: this test can detect the clear picture of the problem and its area. Examples includes:
  1. X-Rays. – X-rays used most frequently with low radiation to visualize bones. This test will not reveal previous damage but it will show the progress. This test shows bone damage and bone spurs, cartilage loss.
  2. Computerized tomography (C T): it takes X- rays from different angles and combine the information to create cross section scenario of the internal part of the body.
  3. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): through combine radio waves with strong magnetic field MRI can produce more deep cross sectional scenario of soft tissues such as cartilage, tendons and ligaments.
  4. Ultrasound: it includes high frequency sound waves to capture the scenario of soft tissues, cartilage and fluid containing. It also used to guide needle replacement for joint aspiration and injection.

Treatment:

Patient need to try different types of combination of treatments to know the which treatment suits patient. The treatment focuses on improving the joint function.

  • Alternative treatments: alternative treatment includes natural remedies.
  • Diet & nutrition: diet and nutrition plays an important role in preventing symptoms and flare.
  • Exercise: physical therapy used to rehabilitate joints after injection or surgery procedure. Exercise maintains the joint structure sturdy.
  • Injections: it can reduce after which patient can indulge in physical exercise, therapy and everyday activities.
  • Joint aspiration: its also known as arthrocentesis. It helps to reduce the joint pain by using needle and syringe to remove from a joint and the fluids to diagnostic center for test.
  • Medications: there are several types of medication according to the types. Such as ibuprofen or aspirin opioids and each has its benefits as well risks factor.
  • Arthritis specialist: doctors with specialist can help mostly disease like rheumatologist, physiatrist, and orthopedic surgeons who can give better treatment of joint problems