At one point or another, most people fall victim to arthritis – an inflammation of the joints that cause pain and making movement difficult. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, the two most common being osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). While osteoarthritis is primarily caused by “wear and tear” on the joints, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system – which works to protect the body by attacking foreign substances like bacteria and viruses – mistakenly attacks the joints.
At the office of Nutley Orthopaedic Group, 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.
While the cause of RA is not yet fully understood, early diagnosis and aggressive treatment is needed to control its effects. Left unchecked, RA can damage cartilage (the elastic tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint), as well as the bones themselves. Over time, there is loss of cartilage, and joints can become loose, unstable, painful, deformed, oftn with a loss of mobility.
Treatment options for RA vary depending on symptoms and severity of the disease. 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 badly damaged by RA. At our offices, we assess each case individually and develop a customized treatment plan for each patient.
Setting the standard of care for joint and bone health
At the office of Nutley Orthopaedic Group, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate orthopedic care. For more information on our office and the many services we provide, give us a call today.