4 Types of Arthritis

 

 

Do you wake up in the morning with stiff, aching joints? This is an early symptom of arthritis, and though you may think of swollen knuckles or aching knees when you think of arthritis, the joints in your feet and ankles can be affected as well. 

Dr. Richard Nichols and Dr. Joseph Harvey at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists understand the impact that arthritis can have on your life. It’s difficult to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle when it hurts to stand or walk. Although no form of arthritis can be cured, treatments can ease your symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. 

Arthritis is a broad term that applies to more than 100 different diseases, which all affect the joints and often have similar symptoms. In this post, we discuss four types of arthritis that we see often in our office. 

1. Osteoarthritis

Sometimes osteoarthritis is called “wear-and-tear arthritis” because it happens over time and you’re more vulnerable to it the older you are. It can affect any joint, but most commonly occurs in the knee. 

Knee osteoarthritis can impact your gait, creating a cascade of issues in addition to the joint damage it causes. If you have knee osteoarthritis, a visit with our doctors may be in order to help you avoid additional problems. 

2. Post-traumatic arthritis

Have you had a broken foot or ankle or other serious injury? Sometimes, arthritis develops in joints that have had a traumatic injury. If you’ve had a fractured bone, or a dislocation, you may be at risk for post-traumatic arthritis. 

More than 5 million people in the US have some kind of post-traumatic arthritis. The symptoms are the same as many other types of arthritis: swelling and inflammation of the affected joint, fluid buildup, and pain.

3. Gout

Many people don’t even realize that gout is a type of arthritis, but it is. Usually affecting the big toe, arthritis can cause excruciating pain. It’s caused by a buildup of uric acid in your blood. The acid crystallizes and causes damage to the affected joint. Experts believe the joint of the big toe is the most common site of gout because it’s the joint that is farthest from your heart. 

Often, dietary changes can help you avoid gout flare-ups. Less alcohol, red meat, and other rich foods can lower the level of uric acid in your blood.

4. Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis differs from the other types we’ve discussed because it’s an autoimmune disorder. Your immune system malfunctions when you have rheumatoid arthritis and attacks your joints. Any joint can be affected. 

The inflammation that your immune system creates can cause permanent damage to your joint, so getting treatment is important. Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect your skin and organs. 

Treating arthritis

Each type of arthritis can be treated so that you experience less pain and slower degeneration of your joint. The most appropriate treatment depends on the type of arthritis you have, as well as your medical history, and many other factors. Some of the treatments we offer include: 

If you’re experiencing swollen joints and pain, schedule an appointment at Alliance Foot & Ankle. We’re happy to evaluate your situation and suggest ways you might live with less pain and more mobility. 



 

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