Rheumatoid arthritis can be a debilitating condition – but there is hope. Joint damage from this illness can sometimes be prevented, and there is a range of treatment options for those living with rheumatoid arthritis. At OsteoMed, our goal is to provide surgeons with several options for high-quality treatment that can improve the health and well being of their patients.
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease affecting the joints, causing pain and swelling. The disease can touch any joint in the body and often affects more than one joint. Anyone, young or old, can suffer from rheumatoid arthritis – though it happens more often in women than in men.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Symptoms and Causes
Those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis experience pain or swelling, and will sometimes get a fever along with joint pain. In a mild or moderate form, symptoms can feel worse at some times and better (or even nonexistent) at others. Those with the severe form of the disease feel its symptoms daily; the severe form can cause long-lasting pain and irreversible joint damage.
Doctors are still studying the factors that may cause rheumatoid arthritis, but it appears there may be multiple factors underlying the disease, including heredity (the disease may be passed genetically from parents to children), hormone levels, and environmental factors. The disease isn’t curable, but can be managed with proper care.
Treatment and Care
Rheumatoid arthritis is a poorly understood autoimmune disease, so it is difficult to prevent. You can, however, prevent major joint damage with proper early care and regular exercise after a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. Talk to your doctor about medication options and an exercise routine that can help you keep your joints active and avoid major damage. If you are a smoker, quitting can help you minimize your pain and joint damage. If you are facing long-term pain from major joint damage, your doctor may recommend surgery to help alleviate the pain and improve your ability to move comfortably.
Hope for the Future
Doctors are studying genetic and biological factors involved in rheumatoid arthritis—and lupus, which is sometimes co-occurring. Medicines and new surgical treatments are being tested that may improve patient care and quality of life in years to come.
OsteoMed is already working with surgeons to provide relief from the pain of rheumatoid arthritis through surgical implant options like the ReFlexion, which can help to reconstruct metatarsal joints after arthritic damage. OsteoMed is working hand-in-hand with leading physicians on developing surgical alternatives. For now, understanding the condition and caring for yourself—combined with a strong relationship with your surgeon or physician—can help you to live a healthy life, even with rheumatoid arthritis.