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RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: AN IMMUNE SYSTEM ATTACK OF YOUR TISSUES AND JOINTS

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: AN IMMUNE SYSTEM ATTACK OF YOUR TISSUES AND JOINTS

Everyone is aware of the effects of arthritis – an inflammation of the joints that cause pain and making movement difficult. But did you know that there are more than 100 different types —the two most common being osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). While osteoarthritis is primarily caused by “wear and tear” on the joints, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints.

At the offices of Boston Sports & Shoulder Center, our team of orthopedists is highly skilled in the treatment of RA, which involves a three-step approach: stopping the inflammation, relieving symptoms, and preventing joint and organ damage.

About 1.5 million people in the U.S. have rheumatoid arthritis, affecting three times as many women as men. The condition most commonly afflicts the joints of the hands, feet, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles, but it can also affect vital body functions, such as the cardiovascular or respiratory systems.

While the cause of RA is not yet fully understood, early diagnosis and aggressive treatment is needed to control its effects. Left unchecked, RA can damage cartilage, as well as the bones themselves. Over time, joints can become loose, unstable, painful, and deformed, making movement and mobility more difficult.

Treatment options for RA vary depending on symptoms and severity of the disease, but most often involve the use of medications. Sometimes, surgical options may be used to restore function in joints badly damaged by RA.

Committed to bone and joint health

At the office of Boston Sports & Shoulder Center, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate orthopedic care. We carefully assess each case individually and develop a customized treatment plan for each patient. For more information on the services we provide, give us a call today.

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