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Causes of Joint Pain:

Osteoarthritis (OA)
Osteoarthritis is sometimes called degenerative or old age arthritis. It is a wearing down or breaking down of normal joint lubricating structures. When cartilage breaks down, bones rub against each other resulting in deformity, stiffness and pain.

OA commonly occurs in people aged 50 and older, and frequently in individuals with a family history of osteoarthritis. In OA, pain and stiffness generally increase with activity.

Treatments for OA target preservation of the joints, maintaining flexibility and control of pain. Patients with OA should remain as active as possible, and maintain a normal body weight.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis, or crippling arthritis, is a systemic disease that can affect joints. RA causes thickening of the synovium, and severe destruction of joint cartilage and bone. RA can affect lungs, kidneys, spine and other organs. RA can occur at any age, and affects women 3 times more often then men. Lupus or mixed connective tissue disorders can cause joint problems that are similar to RA.

RA is an autoimmune disease. The immune system protects us from infection. Normally, the immune system kills cells that are foreign to the body, including germs that cause infection. In RA, the immune system cells may damage normal tissues.

The mainstay of treatment of RA involves medication to control the systemic activity of the disease. Some of the medications used to treat RA can have significant side effects. A Rheumatologist is a doctor that specializes in the medical treatment of RA and related disorders. Orthopaedic Surgery plays a role in removing the synovium, and restoring function to joints damaged by RA.

Post Traumatic Arthritis:
Post traumatic arthritis may develop after an injury to the joint in which the bone and cartilage do not heal completely. The joint is no longer smooth, and with time, joint surface wear leads to changes that are similar to OA.