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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s defense system turns against itself and causes attacks on healthy joints, cartilage and tissues throughout the body, along with damage to blood vessels, nerves and tendons. Typically, individuals affected by the condition are between the ages of 40 and 60, and are three times more likely to be women than men.
The exact causes of RA are unknown, yet there are indications that genetics play an impactful role in the condition’s development.
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms often begin in small joints such as the knuckles of the hands and the toes of the feet. The most common symptoms are pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. Typically, these symptoms transpire in multiple joints throughout the body. Since this condition is a systemic disease, an affected individual may feel more diffuse symptoms including fever, loss of appetite, body tiring easily, and lumps developing near the joints.
Diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis involves a thorough physical examination of the affected area and an evaluation of the patient’s medical history. The Kayal Orthopaedic Center physicians in Bergen County will look for specific physical characteristics that indicate the presence of RA.These include:
There are other tests our physicians may request to further confirm the affected patient’s diagnosis, including an X-ray, a CT scan, and an MRI scan, which can be conveniently scheduled at Kayal Medical Imaging in Bergen County. A blood test is frequently utilized to test the patient’s blood for certain autoimmune markers.
Once a diagnosis has been made, Dr. Kayal and his team will assist patients, who can choose from several convenient offices in Bergen County, with deciding on treatment options. Although there is no existing cure for rheumatoid arthritis, there are progressive approaches that may alleviate symptoms and slow down the progression of the condition. Conservative, non-surgical treatment measures may involve steroid injections, orthotic devices, and viscosupplementation, in which lubrication fluid is injected into the joint. Medications can also help to slow down the progression of the disease. For more severe cases, surgical options may be recommended based on our physician’s discretion. Possible surgical treatment options include: