In the United States, more than 50 million people suffer from arthritis, making it the number one cause of disability in the country. According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis is a more frequent cause of activity limitations than heart disease, cancer or diabetes.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints. Though it is very common, arthritis is not well understood. Actually, “arthritis” is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, sexes and races can and do have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in America. More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. It is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.
Symptoms of Arthritis
Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go. They can be mild, moderate or severe. They may stay about the same for years, but may progress or get worse over time. These symptoms can include:
- Joint pain
- Joint swelling
- Reduced ability to move the joint
- Redness and warmth of the skin around a joint
- Joint stiffness, especially in the morning
Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs. Arthritis can cause permanent joint changes. These changes may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can only be seen on X-ray.
Joints can be damaged by arthritis and other diseases, injuries, or other causes. Arthritis or simply years of use may cause the joint to wear away. This can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling. Bones are alive, and they need blood to be healthy, grow, and repair themselves. Diseases and damage inside a joint can limit blood flow, causing problems.
Risk factors for arthritis include
- Excess weight
- Family history
- Previous injury (an anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, tear, for example).
If joint symptoms are severe, causing limited mobility and affecting quality of life, some of the above management strategies may be helpful, but joint replacement may be necessary.
For more information about Joint Replacement, visit the tab on the left or contact your Kettering Physician Network Orthopedics & Sports Medicine specialists.
Kettering Physician Network Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
specialists use the latest techniques and technology to improve joint care to get you feeling better so you can live well and enjoy life again. Our team of orthopedic surgery experts uses are well known for their surgical technical excellence and innovative abilities for joint replacement, developing new solutions for patients to improve healing, speed rehabilitation and improve outcomes.
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