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Types of arthritis

Types of Arthritis

 Norton Orthopedic Care offers a full range of arthritis treatment options for all forms of the condition:

For more information about these arthritis types, or to make an appointment with an orthopaedic care specialist, please call (502) 629-1234.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It causes pain, swelling and reduced motion in your joints. It can occur in any joint, but usually it affects your hands, knees, hips or spine.

Osteoarthritis breaks down the cartilage in your joints. Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. Healthy cartilage absorbs the shock of movement. When you lose cartilage, your bones rub together. Over time, this rubbing can permanently damage the joint.

Risk factors for osteoarthritis include

  • Being overweight
  • Getting older
  • Injuring a joint

No single test can diagnose osteoarthritis. Most doctors use several methods, including medical history, a physical exam, x-rays, or lab tests.

Treatments include exercise, medicines, and sometimes surgery.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a type of arthritis that causes pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function in your joints. It can affect any joint but is common in the wrist and fingers.

More women than men get rheumatoid arthritis. It often starts in middle age and is most common in older people. But children and young adults can also get it. You might have the disease for only a short time, or symptoms might come and go. The severe form can last a lifetime.

Rheumatoid arthritis is different from osteoarthritis, the common arthritis that often comes with older age. RA can affect body parts besides joints, such as your eyes, mouth and lungs. RA is an autoimmune disease, which means the arthritis results from your immune system attacking your body's own tissues.

No one knows what causes rheumatoid arthritis. Genes, environment and hormones might contribute. Treatments include medicine, lifestyle changes and surgery. These can slow or stop joint damage and reduce pain and swelling.

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is a type of arthritis that happens in children age 16 or younger. It causes joint swelling, pain, stiffness, and loss of motion. It can affect any joint, and in some cases it can affect internal organs as well.

One early sign of JRA may be limping in the morning. Symptoms can come and go. Some children have just one or two flare-ups. Others have symptoms that never go away. JRA causes growth problems in some children.

No one knows exactly what causes JRA. Scientists do know it is an autoimmune disorder, which means your immune system, which normally helps your body fight infection, attacks your body's own tissues.

JRA can be hard to diagnose. Your health care provider may do a physical exam, lab tests, and x-rays. Medicines and physical therapy can help maintain movement and reduce swelling and pain.

Infectious Arthritis

Most types of arthritis cause pain and swelling in your joints. Joints are places where two bones meet, such as your elbow or knee. Infectious arthritis is an infection in the joint. The infection comes from a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection that spreads from another part of the body. Besides the usual arthritis symptoms, it can cause chills and fever.

One type of infectious arthritis is reactive arthritis. It is inflammation of a joint in reaction to an infection somewhere else in your body. The joint is usually the knee, ankle, or toe. The infection that causes reactive arthritis is often in the bladder, urethra (urine tube), or for women, in the vagina. Sexually transmitted or food-borne bacteria can cause reactive arthritis.

To diagnose infectious arthritis, your health care provider may do tests of your blood, urine, and joint fluid. Treatment includes medicines and sometimes surgery.

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes itchy or sore patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales. You usually get them on your elbows, knees, scalp, back, face, palms and feet, but they can show up on other parts of your body.

Some people with psoriasis have psoriatic arthritis. It causes pain, stiffness, and swelling of the joints. It is often mild, but can sometimes be serious and affect many joints. The joint and skin problems don't always happen at the same time.

Your doctor will do a physical exam and imaging tests to diagnose psoriatic arthritis. There is no cure, but medicines can help control inflammation and pain. In rare cases, you might need surgery to repair or replace damaged joints. 

Source NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Download our Arthritis Prevention Exercise Guide. pdf_icon_small.gif

 

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