Arthritis Specialists Columbus IN
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Medical School: Univ Athens, Fac Med, Sch Of Hlth Sci, Nat'L & Kapodistrian, Athens
Graduation Year: 1966
South Bend, IN
Accepting New Patients: Yes
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Arthritis Care Center
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Medical School: In Univ Sch Of Med, Indianapolis In 46202
Graduation Year: 2000
Fort Wayne, IN
A Patient's Guide to Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriasis is a disease that most people think of as primarily a skin disease because the condition causes a persistent rash in various areas of the body. Psoriatic arthritis is a type of joint disease that occurs in roughly seven percent of people who have psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis affects people of all ages, but most get it between the ages of 30 and 50. Usually a patient has psoriasis (the skin rash) for many years before the arthritis develops, and the arthritis comes on slowly. But this is not always the case. No matter what, patients with psoriatic arthritis must manage both the outbreaks of itchy, scaly skin and the pain and stiffness of arthritis.
This guide will help you understand
Where does psoriatic arthritis develop?
Psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint. Its symptoms often seem like the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or degenerative arthritis of the spine. X-rays can be used to show the difference between psoriatic arthritis and other diseases. In psoriatic arthritis, X-rays show a very distinctive type of bone destruction around the joint and certain patterns of swelling in the tissues around the joints.
Patients with psoriatic arthritis fall into three groups. Many patients have what is called asymmetric arthritis. This means that only a few joints are involved and that it does not occur in the same joints on both sides of the body. (For example, only one wrist and one foot are affected.)
An equal number of patients suffer from symmetric polyarthritis. This means that arthritis occurs in several corresponding joints on both sides of the body. (For example, both elbows, both knees, and both hands are affected.) The polyarthritis type of psoriatic arthritis is much like RA.
A third group has mostly axial disease. This refers to arthritis of the spine, the sacroiliac joint (where the pelvis and bottom of the spine meet), or the hip and shoulder joints. Patients do not necessarily stay in the same category. Over time, the pattern may change. Doctors use these categories to better understand the disease and to follow the progression of the arthritis. The treatment is basically the same.
Why do I have this problem?
The exact cause of psoriatic arthritis is not known. Many factors seem to be involved in its development. Heredity--your genes--plays a major role. People who are closely related to someone with psoriatic arthritis are 50 times more likely to develop the disease themselves. Recent studies have located genetic markers shared by most people who have the disease.
Sometimes injuries seem to set off psoriatic arthritis. Infections also contribute to the disease. It is known that strep infections in children can cause psoriasis. Some researchers think that the arthritis may be...