Joint damage

Starburst
Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
Hello,

I have a question about joint damage. I saw an orthotist today who explained that the inflammation in my metatarsal area has caused the cartilage and other soft tissue to wear away. I have RA, so I was a bit confused because I thought this sounded more like OA. So, please could someone explain to me exactly what inflammation can do to the joints?

Thank you,
Sophie

Comments

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oooooh, interesting. Inflammation can and does cause joint damage, and it is possible to have more than one form of arthritis. Ask your GP/rheumatologist, they might have a better idea as they know your records. I wish you well. DD
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,786
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    princess01 wrote:
    Hello,

    I have a question about joint damage. I saw an orthotist today who explained that the inflammation in my metatarsal area has caused the cartilage and other soft tissue to wear away. I have RA, so I was a bit confused because I thought this sounded more like OA. So, please could someone explain to me exactly what inflammation can do to the joints?

    Thank you,
    Sophie

    Hi Sophie

    You have actually already got your answer in your question. When a person has RA it is the inflammation that attacks the joint which is made up of cartilage. synovial membrane, ligaments, bone, synovial fluid etc, and causes damage to all those things which is what is collectively referred to as joint damage. If you wish to learn more about it please see our booklet called 'Living with RA': http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/PublicationsandResources/Listedbytype/Booklets

    This is a link to the NRAS website which has an article written by a professor of Rheumatology explaining RA in much more detail and may help understand the condition a lot better: http://www.nras.org.uk/about_rheumatoid_arthritis/what_is_ra/what_is_ra.aspx

    In OA the cartilage also wears away however it is not as a result of inflammation however more as a natural process of degeneration or in some cases injury.

    I hope that has helped to clarify things a bit more for you.

    Best wishes

    Simona
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    dreamdaisy Thank you for the reply. I'll talk to my rheumy at my next appt in Nov. I don't think I have OA too because I'm only 22 but who knows?!

    Simona Thank you. I guess I just thought the damage was different as you can see OA on x-rays. If it does the same thing, then how can you tell the difference between OA and RA? I feel quite confused but maybe these are things I don't need to know because I'm not a dcotor! :lol:
  • woodbine
    woodbine Member Posts: 140
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    princess01 wrote:
    dreamdaisy Thank you for the reply. I'll talk to my rheumy at my next appt in Nov. I don't think I have OA too because I'm only 22 but who knows?!

    Simona Thank you. I guess I just thought the damage was different as you can see OA on x-rays. If it does the same thing, then how can you tell the difference between OA and RA? I feel quite confused but maybe these are things I don't need to know because I'm not a dcotor! :lol:

    This is very confusing :? my GP has told me that you often can't see OA on x-rays, or at least that the pain can be very much worse than the x-ray would suggest. He also said that people with OA can have some inflamation and lumps on joints (I have) - though not as much as you poor people with RA. My OA is in multiple joints - which I thought was also something that happened with RA.
    So how can you tell the difference - especially in the early stages???

    Naomi :?
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,786
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Naomi

    Thanks for your posting.

    It can be very confusing trying to understand the symptoms in different types of arthritis.

    In osteoarthritis the cartilage in the joint will be damaged, causing the bones in the joint to rub together. The cartilage damage can be caused by an accident or injury or natural degeneration with age. This can cause pain,swelling and stiffness. In rheumatoid arthritis the body's immune system attacks the joints, causing damage to the joint itself, along with pain,swelling and a hot/burning feeling around the joint. You may also get flu like symptoms due to inflammation in the blood. Rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed by a series of blood tests, which will indicate a rheumatoid factor.

    Osteoarthritis can be in one or multiple joints, which can also happen with Rheumatoid arthritis.

    For more information see our booklet 'Understanding Arthritis' at http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/PublicationsandResources/Listedbytype/Booklets. For more detailed information see our booklets 'Living with Osteoarthritis' and 'Living with Rheumatoid arthritis' at the same address.

    I hope this helps.

    Regards

    Nick
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    What a clear explanantion, Nick, that is very helpful. That should be on a sticky somewhere. DD
  • trisher
    trisher Member Posts: 9,263
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Can I butt in here please

    Simona also Nick

    Thank you for the explaination. I have RA also OA and PsA reading what you have suggested has now made things clearer to me as well.

    Thank you both very much.

    Trish xx

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