Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that involves severe inflammation of the joints and can be extremely painful. The disease affects about 1 percent of the World’s population and is caused by erosion in the articular cartilage. When a patient has rheumatoid arthritis, their immune system (which would normally protect their health,) attacks their body’s own tissues and joint membranes. This causes fluid to build up in their joints, which causes extreme pain, tenderness, inflammation, and stiffness. For patients with RA in their knees, the inflammation eventually causes damage to the knee joint surface.
Unfortunately, experts do not yet know the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis, but there is evidence that people might have a genetic predisposition to the disease which is then triggered by a virus, bacteria, or even by unusually severe stress. RA is more common in women than in men and its onset frequently occurs in middle age.
The primary symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include pain, swelling, joint stiffness, and loss of motion. Patients also report a loss of appetite, fever, energy loss, anemia, and rheumatoid nodules (lumps of tissue under the skin). It’s not uncommon for patients to have less painful or even pain-free days, and then have symptom “flare-ups” for a few days or weeks at a time.
At CORE Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, our physicians will work with your rheumatologist and recommend the following treatment options for patients with RA:
800 Biesterfield Rd. Elk Grove Village, Illinois 60007
Phone : 847-437-5500
1555 Barrington Road Hoffman Estates, Illinois 60169
Phone : 847-843-2000