Explaining Arthritis

Posted by Signature Medical Group on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 in Orthopedics

One of the more common ailments among adults is arthritis. About one in five in the U.S. is affected by it.

Arthritis is not a single disease but an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. At Signature Medical Group, we treat more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions.

The two most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The cause of your arthritis depends on the type you have. Osteoarthritis is caused by the wear and tear damage to your joint's cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by your body's immune system attacking the lining of your joint capsule (a tough membrane that encloses all of the joint parts).

Your genes also may play a role in which kind of arthritis you develop. Certain types may run in your family. Your age and weight also can play a factor.

Arthritis diagnosis often begins with a Signature Medical Group primary care doctor, who performs a physical exam and may do blood tests and imaging scans to help determine the type of arthritis. Signature also has arthritis specialists, or rheumatologists, involved if the diagnosis is uncertain or if the arthritis may be inflammatory.

Rheumatologists typically manage ongoing treatment for inflammatory arthritis, gout and other complicated cases.

Orthopedic surgeons at Signature perform joint surgery, including joint replacements. We often use non-invasive and non-surgical treatments. We specialize in treating patients who are experiencing problems with previous joint replacements or need revisions.

At Signature Medical Group, treating arthritis is one of our top priorities. Make an appointment to see one of our specialists today.