4 Types of Arthritis

When you have arthritis, you experience inflammation in at least one joint — the areas where two or more bones come together. However, not all joint inflammation has the same cause, which means they don’t respond to the same treatment.

Here in Fort Myers, Florida, Dr. Edward R. Dupay, Jr. brings more than 30 years of medical experience to Orthopedic Associates of Southwest Florida. As an orthopedic surgeon, he can help diagnose and treat arthritic conditions. 

While there are more than 100 different diseases and conditions causing arthritis, we can organize them into four primary types. 

1. Degenerative arthritis

If you have a degenerative form of arthritis, the cartilage cushioning the ends of your bones starts wearing away. Without this slick surface, these bones begin rubbing against each other, leading to swelling, stiffness, and joint pain.

This form of arthritis — also known as osteoarthritis — is the most common, and it can cause joint weakness and chronic pain. Factors that increase your chances of developing degenerative arthritis include aging, a family history of the condition, a past injury, and being overweight.

2. Inflammatory arthritis

These forms of arthritis occur because of a problem with your immune system.

When your immune system functions properly, it causes inflammation that protects your body from infection and disease. However, if you have an inflammatory form of arthritis, your immune system misfires and attacks your joints with uncontrolled inflammation, putting you at risk for developing joint degeneration.

Common types of inflammatory arthritis include:

Your genes and environmental triggers often cause inflammatory forms of arthritis. Early diagnosis and aggressive treatment are essential for slowing the progression of these conditions and helping avoid permanent joint damage.

3. Metabolic arthritis

Sometimes, a metabolic imbalance in your system can trigger arthritis. You can see an example of this with an especially complex form of arthritis called gout.

This form of arthritis develops when you have too much uric acid in your body, causing it to build up and form sharp urate crystals in a joint or its surrounding tissues. When this occurs, it causes severe, sudden attacks of redness, tenderness, pain, and swelling in the joints, especially the base of your big toe. 

Gout can affect anyone, but your chances are higher if you:

Men also have higher risks of having gout, but a woman’s chances increase after menopause.

4. Infectious arthritis

When we think of arthritis, you probably never consider an infection being to blame. However, it’s possible to have a viral, fungal, or bacterial infection within your joint causing the inflammation.

Common causes of infectious arthritis include:

If you have a form of infectious arthritis, you can sometimes clear up your issue completely by undergoing antibiotic treatment as quickly as possible. But these forms of arthritis can also become chronic problems.

Whether you have a degenerative, inflammatory, metabolic, or infectious type of arthritis, there are ways to find relief. Dr. Dupay can help diagnose and treat your condition to preserve your joint function, protect your mobility, and maintain your quality of life.

To find the best treatment for your arthritic condition, contact our office by calling 239-768-2272 or request an appointment online today.

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