Arthritis is generally understood as a disease that affects the joints of the body, causing pain, inflammation, swelling, localized heat, redness, and stiffness. Though these symptoms are all usually present, there are different types of arthritis with their own accompanying symptoms.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis, usually occurs in those over the age of 50, and is due to degeneration and breakdown of the cartilage in the body's joints over time. Cartilage is the cushioning in the joints that helps absorb impact and assists in the proper movement of the joint itself. As cartilage breaks down and deteriorates, the bones of the joint will begin to put pressure on one another, causing the characteristic pain of osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease, where the body's immune system is actually attacking its healthy tissues and systems. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation and swelling of the tissue around the joints, causing moderate to severe pain. Additionally, rheumatoid arthritis can affect the organs of the body, including the heart and other organs. Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in women than in men, and can affect individuals of all ages, but occurs most commonly in middle age.
While rare, Paget's Disease is seen at Arizona Bone and Joint Specialists and involves an acceleration of the process in which the joints are forming.
Avascular Necrosis occurs when the bone has experienced a prolonged decrease in its blood supply. This may be due to cortisone injections that have been administered over the long-term, or because of an organ transplant. This decrease in blood supply can weaken the structure of the bone, which can cause pain, inflammation and swelling in the joint.
Arthritis is considered Post-Traumatic Arthritis when it is due to a joint injury that has not healed properly. A joint injury can affect both the bones of the joint and the cartilage, and can cause eventual degeneration of the joint, leading to arthritis.