Ask An Orthopedist: What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Calendar April 4, 2017

Question: I had Chikangunya Fever in October 2016 and immediately after that, I have had continuous pain in joints, especially in my fingers, wrists, ankles, and my toes. Along with the everyday pain, I am always fatigued and almost every joint is constantly stiff. I’ve done some research on my symptoms and they are all geared towards Rheumatoid Arthritis. Please elaborate more on what this disease entails.

Answer: Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory arthritis that can affect multiple joints and even non-joints (lungs, kidneys, heart, etc.). It is thought to occur by antibodies from your own body “attacking” the joints and causing the inflammation and ultimate damage of the joints. There are blood tests to determine if you have it or not. There are numerous medicines used to treat rheumatoid arthritis to decrease the arthritic symptoms.

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