How long does it take for post traumatic arthritis to develop?

Post-traumatic Arthritis

Original Editors – Lynn Leemans Top Contributors – Lynn Leemans, Leana Louw, Lucinda hampton, Laura Ritchie and Kim Jackson

Definition/Description

Post-traumatic arthritis is a condition triggered by an acute joint trauma that can lead to osteoarthritis or chronic inflammatory arthropathies. Image is of Knee osteoarthritis, possible a PTA.

Joint injuries, with or without associated disruption of the articular surface, frequently lead to a progressive process of severe debilitating condition known as acute post-traumatic arthritis (PTA). PTA can occur at any age, in any joints and may develop from any kind of acute physical trauma, such as sports, vehicle accident, fall or military injury. Although a single trauma may sometimes be sufficient to induce arthropathy, repeated injuries and excess body weight are known to increase the risk for PTA.

Inflammatory events in the initial phase after injury, such as the increased release of inflammatory cytokines, can predispose to the development of OA or inflammatory arthritis.

Clinically Relevant Anatomy

Trauma can cause damage to the articular cartilage of the joint, which results in weakening cartilage that is not able to withstand the stress. The articular cartilage layer start to break down as a result of this.

Epidemiology/Etiology

Any injury to any joint can lead to traumatic arthritis. It is important to differentiate between regular arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis. Post-traumatic arthritis develops as a result of a trauma, while regular arthritis develops gradually without any apparent outside reason. Post-traumatic arthritis makes out about 12% of osteoarthritis cases. Symptom onset can be as long ago as 2-5 years after an injury to the joint was sustained. The cartilage can be bruised when too much pressure is exerted on it. This can happen without any superficial appearance of damage. The injury to the joint does not show up until months later. More severe injury to the cartilage can cause loose fragments when the cartilage comes loose from the bone. These loose pieces are not able to heal, and move around in the joint, and can result into catching and subsequent pain. These defects does not heal as with bone, but are instead filled with scar tissue. Broken off cartilage need to be surgically removed from the joint.

Characteristics/Clinical presentation

There are several symptoms that can indicate a case of post-traumatic arthritis. It includes the following:

  • Swelling of the joint
  • Synovial effusion
  • Pain in the joint
  • Intolerance to weight-bearing activities
  • Joint instability

A diagnose of post-traumatic arthritis can be considered, even more when this condition develops at an early age. Post-traumatic arthritis normally recovers spontaneously, but if the symptoms are still present after 6 months, it is seen as chronic. Sometimes pain comes and goes over a long period of time. The pain may or may not be accompanied by inflammation of the joint or surrounding area. Often the symptoms would disappear without any major medical intervention, these symptoms may re-appear after a while.

Differential diagnosis

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
  • Various pathologies related to specific joints

Diagnostic procedures

  • X-rays
  • MRI

Outcome Measures

  • Hip Disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score
  • Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score
  • Western Ontario and McMaster universities osteoarthritis index (WOMAC) WOMAC Osteoarthritis Index,
  • Algofunctional index (AFI)
  • Intermittent and constant osteoarthritis pain index (ICOAP)
  • West-Haven-Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory (Assesses chronic pain in individuals and Recommended for use in conjunction with behavioral and psycho-physiological strategies)
  • Oxford Hip Scale
  • Oxford Knee Score
  • McGill Pain Questionnaire Short-Form

Medical management

The primary goals of treating patients with PTA are to minimise the symptoms and loss of function and reduce pain. Currently, treatment for PTA includes anti-inflammatory drugs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or intra-articular injections of cortisone), low impact exercise and lifestyle changes, for example, losing weight if necessary.

Conservative management is the treatment of first choice, and surgery is only considered when this fails. Surgical management will determine on the joint affected, as well as the extent of damage to the joint. For example, post-traumatic hip arthritis might be managed with a hip replacement when conservative management fails. Medical management can not stop the disease process of post-traumatic arthritis, but it can be used to manage the symptoms. Supplemental glucosamine and anti-inflammatory pain medications are normally prescribed to patients. Management will be very similar to that of osteoarthritis.

Physiotherapy management

Conservative management includes:

  • Activity modification
  • Unloading the joint with a mobility assistive device
  • Exercise program aimed at regaining range of motion, strength and coordination
  • Weight management

Physiotherapy also plays a big role in the post-surgical management of these patients. The type of surgery will determine the physiotherapy approach.

Clinical Bottom Line

Post-traumatic arthritis is secondary osteoarthritis that forms after a specific injury to a joint. Symptom can present as long as 2-5 years post injury. Conservative management includes analgesia, as well as physiotherapy. Surgical management is considered when conservative management fails, and again physiotherapy plays a critical part in the post-operative rehabilitation of these patients.

New developments in osteoarthritis: Posttraumatic osteoarthritis: pathogenesis and pharmacological treatment options

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What Is Post-Traumatic Arthritis and How Can It Affect My Claim?

Posted on December 23, 2016

Some injuries happen at the moment that a car accident takes place: a broken leg, a concussion, a damaged spleen. But other car accident injuries can take a prolonged time to manifest. Even though these health conditions did not develop until after the accident, they were still caused by the accident, and the person or parties responsible for the accident are also responsible for all injuries.

In this blog post, we will be talking about post-traumatic arthritis (also known as post-traumatic osteoarthritis), a type of car accident injury that can take months or years to develop in the wake of a crash. In addition to discussing what post-traumatic arthritis is, we will also cover what you need to know about post-traumatic arthritis when filing a West Virginia car accident injury claim.

What are the Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Arthritis?

Post-traumatic arthritis is pain and swelling in certain joints that is caused, at least in part, by an injury to the affected area. An injury damages the area, such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons, affecting the function of the area and causing the joint’s cartilage to begin to deteriorate.

Because it takes a significant period of time for a joint’s cartilage to wear down, this injury does not happen directly after an accident. Post-traumatic osteoarthritis can appear in the knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hips, hands, and feet.

If you suffered an injury in or near a joint, look for these signs and symptoms of post-traumatic arthritis:

  • Pain, either while a joint is at rest or during movement.
  • Joint tenderness.
  • Joint swelling and inflammation.
  • Joint instability.
  • Joint grinding.
  • Joint stiffness and lack of range of motion.

If you have noticed any of these symptoms, see a medical professional immediately regarding your concerns.

What Damages Can Be Caused by Post-Traumatic Osteoarthritis?

As you might guess from the description of the disease and its symptoms, post-traumatic osteoarthritis can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you are filing a personal injury claim in the wake of a car accident that involves post-traumatic arthritis, you might consider the following damages:

  • Medical bills. Post-traumatic arthritis may require medications, injections, physical therapy, and even joint replacement surgery. All of these treatments can add up, especially if you need ongoing medical care to manage your condition.
  • Lost wages. It is easy to see how having osteoarthritis in one or more of your joints could prevent you from doing your job – or even holding down any type of employment. Your car accident claim may include wages you lost when you were initially injured as well as future lost wages if you are now unable to work or unable to do the same work.
  • Pain and suffering. Arthritis can be extremely painful – and it can be a pain that stays with you throughout the day and night. It can also prevent you from doing things you love, from sailing to knitting to walking around the block.

If you believe that you are suffering from post-traumatic arthritis, it is vital that you see a doctor about your condition and share the story of your past trauma. Together, you and your medical team can help treat the condition. If you believe your post-traumatic arthritis was caused by a past car accident, speak to a personal injury lawyer in West Virginia. A legal team can help you understand your case, establish causality, and get you the compensation that you deserve.

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Types of Foot & Ankle Arthritis

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Arthritis, a condition characterized by damage and stiffness of the joints, may affect any of the more than 30 joints in the foot and ankle. The joints that connect the bones of the foot and ankle provide the body with the balance and stability required to stand, walk, and pursue other physical activities.

As arthritis advances, it may damage cartilage, the smooth material lining the ends of bones in the joints. Cartilage allows the foot and ankle bones to move against each other without friction. If cartilage erodes, the bones may begin to rub directly against each other, causing further joint damage and a deep, aching pain, particularly during movement. Bones that rub together may also cause bony growths to develop, which may interfere with joint motion and worsen pain. Over time, joint damage may also lead to stiffness and deformity in the foot and ankle and make walking and other movements difficult.

Types of Foot and Ankle Arthritis

There are many types of arthritis, but arthritis in the foot and ankle is usually one of three types: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or post-traumatic arthritis.

Osteoarthritis, often called “wear and tear” arthritis, develops most often in people over age 50. As cartilage gets worn down with use over time, it can result in pain and stiffness in the joint. Osteoarthritis may develop in an isolated joint or area—for example, in one foot and not the other.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, which means that the body mistakenly attacks its own tissues. This immune response targets soft tissue in the joints called the synovium, resulting in warmth, redness, swelling, stiffness, and pain of the foot and ankle. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis generally develops symmetrically, meaning both feet are affected at the same time.

Post-traumatic arthritis develops in the foot or ankle as a result of injury, even one that occurred long ago. For example, a sprain, fracture, or dislocation in the foot or ankle may damage cartilage, leading to premature deterioration of the joint. Symptoms may appear within a few years, or it may take decades for joint damage to cause pain or limit function.

Location of Arthritis in the Foot and Ankle

Four areas of the foot are most frequently affected by arthritis: the big toe, the midfoot, the hindfoot, and the ankle.

Arthritis in the Big Toe

Arthritis in the big toe—also called hallux rigidus—is common. It typically affects the first metatarsophalangeal joint, which is located at the base of the big toe and connects the toe to the rest of the foot. Every time you take a step, this joint bears your body weight; arthritis in this joint can increasingly limit your ability to walk without pain.

Arthritis in the Midfoot

The midfoot joints, called tarsometatarsal joints, are located almost halfway between the ankle and the toes, slightly closer to the ankle. These joints connect the long bones that form the arch of the foot to the bony part of the foot in front of the ankle. Arthritis that develops in the midfoot can affect one or more of these joints, causing pain when walking or climbing stairs.

Arthritis in the Hindfoot

Arthritis in the hindfoot affects the three joints below the ankle and above the heel: the subtalar joint, the talonavicular joint, and the calcaneocuboid joint. Together, these joints allow the foot to have side-to-side movement, as well as other motions, and aid in bearing the weight of the body. Arthritis in these joints can cause pain and swelling in the feet and ankles.

Arthritis in the Ankle

The ankle joint connects the foot to the leg and allows the foot to flex and point. Arthritis in the ankle can limit range of motion and affect standing, walking, and jumping.

Grace is a pain management doctor who went to Harvard Medical school. She has been a practicing physician for over 30 years, but she suffered her own injury which has led to persistent pain in her left ankle for over 3 years.

She sustained an ankle sprain that was not diagnosed properly and mismanaged by her own doctors. After the ankle sprain, she had complications with her foot and ankle that eventually led to surgery.

After the surgery, she had to wear a boot for 3 years due to the intense pain. She stopped exercising, gained weight, and couldn’t do normal activities. She was unable to return to her job in the operating room as a pain management doctor because she couldn’t stand on her feet for more than 15 minutes.

For the past year, I’ve been helping Grace with an exercise program for her left ankle. Gradually, she’s been improving her strength and ankle mobility. She’s also participating in our personalized nutrition programs with our licensed sports nutritionist at our clinic in San Diego.

When we first starting working together, I suggested that she take our Turmeric extract to reduce inflammation in her ankle in addition to her home exercise program. As a pain management doctor, she was skeptical because she figured an herbal supplement couldn’t be as effective as a medication like Ibuprofen or other NSAIDS.

I told her that she should do her own research and look into the benefits of turmeric extract. Studies show that 500-2000 mg of turmeric extract daily can provide benefits similar to Ibuprofen.

Months went by and she was slowly getting stronger. Approximately 1 month ago, she came into my office saying she needed to tell me something. At first, I thought she was upset with me.

Instead, she told me she finally decided to try our Turmeric extract. This is what she said:

“I don’t know what’s in that Active Atoms, but I know something changed inside my body. My ankle definitely feels better. I don’t have the same pain or stiffness. In fact, I was able to climb up onto a chair and change 10 lightbulbs in my ceiling. Before, I didn’t have the confident to stand up on the chair because my ankle felt weak. Now, I feel a better sense of overall mobility.”

I was so happy to hear that our Turmeric helped reduce her ankle pain. She was so excited to tell me that her ankle was feeling better. She was also able to reach a huge milestone.

Our turmeric gave her the extra boost and confidence to walk 2 miles. Previously, she had only walked 1 mile. When we first started working together, she was unable to walk more than half a mile due to the pain and fatigue in her ankle.

These milestones are massive for someone who is dealing with persistent pain. Many of you may be dealing with pain right now.

If you are taking Ibuprofen regularly, you may want to learn more about the benefits of our Turmeric extract. It has the potential to help you reduce pain and inflammation.

Grace’s story is just one of many stories we hear about people taking our Turmeric. To read more powerful stories of people benefiting from our Turmeric, check out our website here.

Our Turmeric extract is available for purchase on Amazon or our website.

Eighteen years ago, Jeannie Echtinaw was rushing to work, fell down the stairs, and broke her ankle. Fortunately, the fracture healed well. But 10 years later, she developed arthritis in the joint. “It became weak, swollen, and painful, and today it’s hard for me to get around,” says Echtinaw, now 58, of Lake Odessa, MI.

It didn’t have to be that way. You probably don’t realize that an injury or illness you thought was long behind you can evolve into a new problem years down the road. But if you’ve suffered troubles that can deliver a double whammy–a fracture, a bout of food poisoning, or even a childhood case of chickenpox–you can reduce your chances of falling victim a second time, or at least find effective ways to cope.

That was then: You broke a bone or tore (sprained) a ligament.

This is now: A fracture near a joint significantly increases your risk of developing arthritis as much as 15 or 20 years down the line, says William Doherty, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital outside of Boston. When you break your arm or leg, you may injure tissues that keep bones aligned; a slight misalignment can cause bones to grind–wearing away cartilage and causing arthritis. A worse break can crack cartilage, leading more directly to painful joints.

Protect yourself: Exercise regularly. Strong muscles help keep bones in position and absorb the impact of daily activities. Try bicycling or swimming–they’re gentle on your joints.

Ease your pain: If you develop arthritis, talk with your doctor about the best treatment. Again, exercise helps: In a 2001 study of older, arthritic women, only 37% of those who worked out became limited in their movement, compared with 53% of those who didn’t exercise. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also reduce discomfort. For more serious pain, you may need a cortisone injection directly into the problem area or joint replacement surgery.

That was then: You had food poisoning or traveler’s diarrhea.

This is now: Experts say that about 10% of people who have an episode of bacterial gastroenteritis–inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract–develop irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a chronic condition involving abdominal pain, cramping, gas, and diarrhea or constipation.

Protect yourself: The minute you feel food poisoning symptoms, take a bismuth subsalicylate medication (such as Pepto-Bismol). “It may prevent bacteria from clinging to the wall of the gastrointestinal tract and help a you eject the bad stuff faster,” explains Patricia Raymond, MD, an associate professor of clinical internal medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School. The sooner, the better: It’s possible that the longer the illness-causing bacteria stay in your body, the greater the chance your inflammation will worsen and cause IBS later on.

Ease your pain: Prescription drugs like Lotronex can improve severe cases. Probiotics–foods or supplements containing “good” microorganisms–can also help and pose no risk. Look for products with at least 1 billion microbes per dose; try Align or Florastor, available online or at drugstores. Hypnosis is another option: More than 70% of IBS patients taught to send healing thoughts to their guts saw a significant reduction in symptoms after 3 months of weekly practice, report English researchers.

That was then: You had a case of chickenpox in earlier years.

This is now: You have about a 20% chance of developing shingles, according to the National Institute on Aging. The condition comes from a reactivation of the chickenpox virus, which lies dormant in your nerves after your initial infection. It can make an encore, particularly as you age and your immune system weakens. The consequences are serious: Blisters, fever, and fatigue can last for more than a month. In more than 40% of cases after age 70, shingles damages nerve fibers, causing long-lasting and excruciating pain.

Protect yourself: Zostavax, the first shingles vaccine, is designed for people over age 60 and cuts risk by about 50%. Exercise boosts its benefits–those who receive the shot and practice tai chi have twice the increase in immunity as those who only get the injection, notes a recent study. Researchers think any activity or meditation may do the same.

Ease your pain: See your doctor right away to discuss antiviral drugs; they can speed your recovery and decrease pain if taken early enough.

That was then: You were exposed to an STD.

This is now: You may have pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), caused by an untreated sexually transmitted disease, or STD (usually chlamydia or gonorrhea), spreading from the cervix or vagina to the fallopian tubes. At first, PID may produce few or mild symptoms, such as unusual vaginal discharge or discomfort during urination or intercourse. But over decades, it can lead to life-changing consequences, including ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and chronic pain. “A woman could contract an STD in her 20s and only in midlife or beyond see these repercussions,” says Michael Pepi, MD, a clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Brown Medical School.

Protect yourself: Think you might have PID? See your gynecologist as soon as possible. Get tested for STDs (it usually requires a simple cervical swab); if you test positive, a transvaginal ultrasound–imaging of the reproductive organs–can help your doctor determine a PID diagnosis. Get checked even if you’re not currently sexually active because undiagnosed cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea can silently progress for years.

Ease your pain: If you have PID, your doctor will probably prescribe a combination of antibiotics, which should make you feel better in about a week and prevent further damage. Your sexual partner should also see his physician and be treated–he may carry the infection and can easily pass it back to you.

Jennifer Nelson Jennifer Nelson, a full-time freelance health writer, lives and works in sunny Florida.

The decision to have another surgery was difficult for Aime. She knew it would mean a loss of independence, and at least three months in which she would be unable to help care for her children or get around on her own. Ultimately, she decided the chance of returning to her active lifestyle was worth the temporary setback, and in January 2014, she had surgery to remove the accessory navicular and clean out the ankle to remove debris. In addition, Aime had a modified Kidner procedure, which involved removing the posterior tibial tendon from the bone and reanchoring it back to the bones in the arch of her foot.

Aime is still recovering from her surgery. She is not cleared for activities and has not yet started physical therapy. However, her surgeon predicts she has an 85% chance of complete recovery, and that she will be able to run and bike again. “I still am planning to compete in that marathon before age 40, and will do everything I can with physical therapy to regain all the strength that I am losing after this last surgery.”

Aime, who has a degree in sports medicine and athletic training, has learned to adapt to her weaknesses and strengths. She never allowed her ankle laxity to hold her back; she always worked hard to make sure it was as strong as possible. She knows she still faces many challenges in the road to recovery, but she’s ready to face them head on.

Healing Arthritis Caused By Traumatic Injury

“After a patient’s traumatic injury, orthopaedic surgeons realign the joint surface as anatomically as possible and then hope for the best,” said Steven A. Olson, MD, FACS, principal investigator of the post-traumatic arthritis project and chief of the Duke orthopaedic trauma section. “They haven’t been thinking about why patients with injuries are subsequently getting arthritis. Our research examines how we could possibly prevent arthritis development with growth factors and anti-inflammatory therapies after a fracture, either before or at the time of the surgery to fix it.”

Olson said 10 percent of all arthritis cases – about 4.6 million – are post-traumatic arthritis patients, many of whom suffer for years and are too young for joint replacement surgeries. The economic cost thus is about $12.8 billion annually for this group, according to Arthritis Foundation statistics.

The scientists examined the differences in inflammatory response between two types of mice: one type known as superhealers (or MRL/MpJ) versus a strain of control mice (C57BL/6).

Previously, scientists discovered that the superhealer mice had such regenerative powers that holes made in their ears for lab identification purposes grew over completely with no sign of scar tissue. Earlier work done at Duke showed no differences between healthy and fractured limbs when the superhealers healed from a fracture of the knee joint.

“The superhealer can almost regenerate tissue,” said Bridgette Furman, research analyst and lead scientist of this study. “We thought, ‘if they can regenerate cartilage in the ear, what about cartilage in the knee?’ This happened in our pilot study, and we now have taken these results further and learned what happens in terms of inflammation. If you can figure out why the animal is a superhealer and apply that to people, then you may help prevent the development of arthritis.”

In the latest experiment, the team got very clear results in the genetic response within injured tissue: the control mice showed a greater than 700-fold increase in the expression of one cytokine, interleukin(IL-1β) in the first four hours after a fracture and 37-fold difference in that cytokine level at 7 days after the fracture. Cytokines are signaling molecules produced by cells in response to injury. Interleukin generally promotes inflammation and an increase in temperature. The superhealer mice showed a similar trend, but in much lower amounts: a 70-fold peak in expression at day 0 down to a 3.5-fold increase by day 7.

A second cytokine, TNF-α, was also expressed at a significantly higher rate in the control mice after the fracture (from a 13-fold peak just after fracture to 5-fold at 7 days), while the superhealer mice showed no change in their levels of TNF-α at all over time.

“Current treatments on the market for rheumatoid arthritist include anakinra (Kineret®, an IL-1 receptor antagonist) and etanercept (Enbrel®, a tumor necrosis factor blocker),” said Farshid Guilak, Ph.D., study scientist and director of the Orthopaedic Bioengineering Laboratory in the Duke Department of Surgery. “In future studies, we plan to use these rheumatoid arthritis drugs right after a fracture to inhibit inflammatory cytokines in the normal mice. If a reduced inflammatory response is what helps the superhealers, we would like to know whether controlling inflammation in fracture patients can prevent arthritis.”

The team also studied the mice’s joint fluid and blood serum to measure actual levels of the cytokines. Overall, the control mice again showed significantly higher serum levels and synovial (joint) fluid levels of cytokines compared with the superhealers.

The study was presented at the Orthopaedic Research Society meeting, which began on Feb. 22.

Other contributors to this work include Janet Huebner, Daniel Seifer and Virginia Kraus, M.D., Ph.D., of Duke Rheumatology and Immunology. Funding came from a grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.

Arthritis may be caused by wear and tear on the articular cartilage through the natural aging process (osteoarthritis), or may develop following an injury (post-traumatic arthritis).

Other types of arthritis, such as crystalline arthritis, may come from an inflammatory process.

Still others, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus arthritis, are the result of a systemic disease throughout the body.

Regardless of whether the cause is from injury, normal wear and tear, or disease, the joint becomes inflamed, causing swelling, pain and stiffness. Inflammation is one of the body’s normal reactions to injury or disease. In arthritic joints, however, inflammation may cause long-lasting or permanent disability.

Osteoarthritis

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Also known as “wear and tear” arthritis, osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions and protects the ends of your bones gradually wears away.

It results from overuse, trauma, or the natural degeneration of cartilage that occurs with aging.

Osteoarthritis is often more painful in joints that bear weight, such as the knee, hip, and spine. However, joints that are used extensively in work or sports, or joints that have been damaged by injury may show signs of osteoarthritis.

In many cases, bone growths called “spurs” develop at the edges of osteoarthritic joints. The bone can become hard and firm (sclerosis). The joint becomes inflamed, causing pain and swelling. Continued use of the joint is painful.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-lasting disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis affects many parts of the body, but mainly the joints. The body’s immune system, which normally protects the body, begins to produce substances that attack the body. In rheumatoid arthritis, the joint lining swells, invading surrounding tissues. Chemical substances are produced that attack and destroy the joint surface.

Rheumatoid arthritis may affect both large and small joints in the body and also the spine. Swelling, pain, and stiffness usually develop, even when the joint is not used. In some circumstances, juvenile arthritis may cause similar symptoms in children.

Post-traumatic arthritis results from an injury to the joint. If a broken bone or fracture extends into a joint it will damage the smooth cartilage that covers the joint surfaces. The surface becomes uneven and causes friction as the joint moves. Over time, the joint breaks down and becomes arthritic.

Septic Arthritis

Septic arthritis is an infection of the joint. Most often bacteria reach the joint through the bloodstream from an infection in another part of the body, such as the urinary tract. Infected joints are typically warm, red, and acutely tender. They are often swollen due to pus in the joint. An infected joint often needs surgical drainage in addition to antibiotics.

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is associated with the skin disease psoriasis. While it may involve larger joints such as the knees it often presents with symptoms in smaller areas such as the distal joints at the tips of the fingers and toes.

Gouty Arthritis

Gouty arthritis develops as the result of uric acid buildup in the bloodstream. The uric acid forms crystals which cause acute inflammation in a joint. The big toe, ankle, knee, and elbow are the most common joints affected. A gout attack can be acutely painful. The inflamed joint becomes red and very sensitive to touch. Gout attacks are most often treated with medicine rather than surgery. Long term, many patients develop soft tissue masses (tophi) over the affected joints.

Lyme Arthritis

Lyme arthritis can be one of the side effects of Lyme disease, a systemic infection caused by a tick bite. Lyme arthritis can present acutely as pain and swelling in early stages of the disease. Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. Left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to chronic arthritis.

Spondylytic Arthritis

Spondylytic arthritis mostly affects the spine. The most common form is ankylosing spondylitis. It often presents as low back pain with initial changes seen at the sacroiliac joints in the pelvis. Your doctor can confirm this diagnosis with a positive blood test, HLA-B27.

Lupus Arthritis

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects multiple organs including the kidneys, skin, blood, and the heart. Lupus arthritis can be systemic and cause chronic pain in multiple joints.

Juvenile Arthritis

Juvenile arthritis is the most common type of arthritis in children. It is estimated that more than 250,000 children under 16 in the United States are affected. There are several types of the disease and most are different from rheumatoid arthritis in adults.

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