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The Medical Symptoms Staff.

Arthritis Basics

Arthritis (or Arthrititis if you misspell like I do, from Greek arthro-, joint + -itis, inflammation) is a group of conditions that affect the health of the bone joints in the body. One in three adult Americans suffer from some form of arthritis and the disease affects about twice as many women as men.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the joints. It is a disabling and painful inflammatory condition, which can lead to substantial loss of mobility due to pain and joint destruction. The disease is also systemic in that it often also affects many extra-articular tissues throughout the body including the skin, blood vessels, heart, lungs, and muscles.

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Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects around 20% of people suffering from the chronic skin condition Psoriasis. It occurs more commonly in patients with tissue type HLA-B27. Treatment of psoriatic arthritis is similar to that of Rheumatoid arthritis. More than 80% of patients with psoriatic arthritis will have psoriatic nail lesions characterised by pitting of the nails. Psoriatic arthritis is said to be a sero-negative spondyloarthropathy.

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Osteoarthritis (OA), also known as arthrosis or degenerative joint disease, is a disease featuring pain and impaired function of the joints. It is the most common form of arthritis. While inflammation contributes to the disease process, the main cause is "wear and tear" to the synovium (joint lining). Treatment is with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), local injections with glucocorticoids and with joint replacement surgery. There is no cure for osteoarthritis.

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Septic Arthritis

Septic arthritis is the proliferation of bacteria in joints and resultant inflammation. Bacteria are either carried by the bloodstream from an infectious focus elsewhere or are introduced by a skin lesion that penetrates the joint.

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