Arthritis is often associated with aging. However, it can impact individuals of all ages within different parts of the body. It’s a chronic illness, but there is hope.
When you suffer from arthritis, the right treatment from Dr. John Andrachuk can help. With years of experience treating several types of injuries, including arthritis, Dr. Andrachuk is the right Orthopedic Sports Medicine surgeon in Atlanta for you.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis might be associated with older patients, but it’s more than just wear and tear on the joints over time. It’s very common and comes in several different forms.
Typically, arthritis is used to refer to any type of joint pain or joint disease. There are over 100 types of arthritis and it can impact people of all ages, races, and sexes.
As the leading cause of disability in America, over 50 million adults and more than 300,000 children suffer from some form of arthritis. While it does occur more often in older patients, it can impact anybody.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
A rather common type of arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disorder causing chronic inflammation in the joints. It’s not the same as other forms of arthritis as rheumatoid arthritis isn’t caused by wear and tear.
This type of arthritis affects the lining of the joints and causes swelling, which is often very painful. It can result in bone erosion and even joint deformity.
What Causes Arthritis?
With so many types of arthritis, it’s hard to pinpoint just one single cause. Several things may cause arthritis to occur. Some of the most common causes include:
- Abnormal metabolism leading to pseudogout or gout
- Inheritance, especially with osteoarthritis
- Lyme disease and other infections
- Immune system disfunction
Many types of arthritis will be linked to more than just one cause. Sometimes, arthritis occurs due to wear and tear over time, but there are several other reasons why someone might suffer from arthritis.
Arthritis comes with several symptoms, depending on the type of arthritis. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Decreased range of motion
These symptoms are most commonly experienced in the joints.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:
- Loss of appetite
- Tender, swollen joints
- Joint stiffness, especially in the morning or after inactivity
- Sleep difficulties
Rheumatoid arthritis tends to impact the smaller joints first, especially the fingers and the does.
Types of Arthritis
There are more than 100 types of arthritis. Some of the most common types of arthritis include:
- Septic Arthritis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Reactive Arthritis
- Degenerative Arthritis
- Inflammatory Arthritis
- Metabolic Arthritis
- Infectious Arthritis
- Juvenile Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It’s caused by wear and tear and overuse of the joints. Typically, this form of arthritis happens with age, but it can also happen due to obesity or joint injuries.
How Arthritis is Diagnosed
While unusual pain in the joints doesn’t mean you have arthritis, if it doesn’t go away after a few days, you might have arthritis. Your doctor will gather information and ask several questions about your medical history, family history, and habits to determine if you have arthritis.
Several tests may also be used including imaging tests and nerve tests. A physical examination will often give your doctor the information they need to determine which tests are necessary to help diagnose arthritis.
With rheumatoid arthritis, doctors may order an anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide test, C-reactive protein test, or a rheumatoid factor test. It may be necessary to order multiple tests to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis.
If you experience discomfort in your joints for several days, it’s a good idea to see a doctor.
Several treatment options are available for different types of arthritis. It’s common for doctors to prescribe pain-reducing medications for patients with arthritis. However, medication is just one of the many treatments. Other treatments include:
- Physical therapy
- Joint assistive aids
- Weight loss
- Changes in diet
- Staying physically active
- Surgery, including joint replacement
Doctors will commonly use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat the inflammation and pain caused by arthritis. Your doctor may also prescribe counterirritants, biologic response modifiers, or corticosteroids, depending on the type of arthritis and the severity.
Types of Arthritis Surgery
Surgery can be used to treat arthritis and comes with several benefits. Joint surgery often helps to relieve pain and improve mobility.
A type of surgery used to remove the damaged joint and replace it with an implant, arthroplasty is a common option for arthritis in the hands.
Joint Replacement Surgery
Several types of joint replacement surgeries are used to help relieve the pain from arthritis. Some of the most common types of joint replacement surgery include:
- Hip Replacement
- Knee Replacement
- Foot or Ankle Replacement
- hand and Wrist Replacement
- Shoulder and Elbow Replacement
There are several types of joint replacement surgeries to consider if you’re suffering from the pain caused by arthritis.
Carpal Tunnel Release
Another surgery used to help treat arthritis is carpal tunnel release. This type of surgery can help to relieve pain in your arm and hand.
Bone or Joint Fusion Surgery
Some doctors refer to this type of surgery as arthrodesis. Usually, pone or joint fusion surgery is used in the spine, ankles, wrists, or fingers to help relieve the pain of arthritis.
A type of surgery removing the synovium (joint lining), synovectomy can be used to help relieve the pain of arthritis. It won’t damage the bone or cartilage, but you may need more than one surgery if the joint lining grows back.
Usually used for the larger joints, arthroscopy involves a small cut in the skin, and a thin lighted tube used to look at the join. Bits of floating bone or cartilage can be removed using this type of surgery to help improve joint function.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
Offering extensive experience with arthritis diagnosis and treatment, Dr. Andrachuk has treated many patients suffering from arthritis pain. If you’re experience prolonged pain in your joints, it’s time to seek medical help. Dr. Andrachuk provides a conservative treatment, along with the latest arthroscopic and minimally invasive options to ease the pain from arthritis. Contact us today and schedule your in-person or telemedicine appointment!