Although most patients have heard of arthritis, many are unaware that there are different types of arthritis and what each kind may mean. However, at Rothman Institute, we believe that it is important for each patient to fully understand his or her condition in order to seek out the best possible course of treatment. To help pursue this end, our doctors have answered the frequently asked questions about rheumatoid arthritis Philadelphia patients want answered.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease which leads to inflammation (painful swelling) in the joints and surrounding area. Although it typically affects joints, this disease can also affect other organs as well. As an autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis causes the body’s immune system to confuse healthy tissue with a foreign substance, resulting in the body attacking itself.
The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, and it can occur in patients of any age, with varying severity.
What Are Symptoms?
If affected by rheumatoid arthritis Philadelphia patients will usually experience a number of symptoms before the more iconic joint pain appears. These include fatigue, loss of appetite, a low fever, weight loss, or weakness. In addition to these symptoms, which are common to many other illnesses as well, joint pain will eventually occur, most commonly affecting the wrists, fingers, knees, feet, and ankles.
The affected joints often become swollen and painful. In the morning, or after disuse, the joints may become warm, tender,and stiff. Often, these symptoms will appear on both sides of the body. Over time, the affected joints may lose their range of motion and may even becomes deformed as a results of the disease.
Although these symptoms are all common in rheumatoid arthritis Philadelphia patients should consult with their doctors for further testing for a professional diagnosis.
How is Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated?
If diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis Philadelphia patients can expect to have a lifetime of treatment ahead of them. These may include medication, physical therapy, exercise, and possibly even surgery. When these treatments are sought early on, they can significantly delay or even prevent joint destruction.
For Rheumatoid Arthritis Philadelphia Trusts Rothman Institute
For patients located in or around Philadelphia, expert help is available at Rothman Institute. Our orthopaedic specialists are at the forefront of research and development of the latest treatments and can often help patients return to a pain-free, independent lifestyle. For more information about treatment options from Rothman Institute, contact us today.