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Arthritis Answers

Specialists at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen help patients suffering from arthritis enjoy life with reduced pain.

The inflammation that characterizes arthritis can cause patients with the condition to experience pain, stiffness and swelling in the affected joints. Physicians at Texas Health Allen provide care for two common forms of the condition — osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and is generally associated with aging. The cartilage in the body’s joints wears down over time, which results in bone rubbing against bone — a very painful occurrence. OA is most common in the body’s major joints, including the hips, knees and neck.

“There is no cure for OA, but a physician can work with patients to help them find relief,” says John P. Lavery,
M.D., rheumatologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Allen. “Treatment options include anti-inflammatory
pain medications, physical therapy and, in the most severe cases, joint replacement surgery.”

Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is not a degenerative condition. The Arthritis Foundation states that RA is a chronic disorder in which the immune system attacks the body’s tissues. Most common in small joints, such as those in the hands and feet, RA causes swelling that can potentially lead to joint deformity.

Medications designed to prevent the immune system from attacking these joints in addition to surgical procedures, such as joint replacement, tendon repair or joint lining removal, may help patients find relief.

To locate a physician at Texas Health Allen who specializes in arthritis treatment, visit TexasHealth.org or call 1-877-THR-WELL (1-877-847-9355). (Summer 2010)

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