An Educational Guide to Psoriatic Arthritis

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One of the arthritic forms that we are going to talk about in this post is psoriatic arthritis. There are some specific symptoms shown by this condition along with some common ones. Let us talk about this condition in detail.

Arthritis is one of the common orthopedic conditions that occur due to aging. It is a condition that affects the joints. Pain, swelling, and inability to use the affected joint are among the commonest symptoms experienced by people suffering from arthritis. Timely diagnosis and treatment of the condition are important as if ignored, severe complications may occur, and surgery is required for the treatment. Surgical intervention often requires Orthopedic Trauma Implants.

One of the arthritic forms that we are going to talk about in this post is psoriatic arthritis. There are some specific symptoms shown by this condition along with some common ones. Let us talk about this condition in detail.


Psoriatic Arthritis – An Overview

Psoriatic arthritis is a specific form of arthritis that affects people suffering from psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin-related condition in which red patches having silvery scales appear on the skin. Not in everyone but psoriatic arthritis is often seen in people suffering from psoriasis.

It is a painful condition in which pain, swelling, and tenderness are experienced around the affected joint. Psoriasis may develop years before the diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis while in some, arthritic symptoms may develop before the development of red patches on the skin. Psoriatic arthritis may affect any of the joints that may include fingertips and the spine. This condition can be mild, moderate, or severe, and based on that, the treatment is provided.


Causes of Psoriatic Arthritis

When our immune system attacks our healthy cells by considering them as foreign materials, psoriatic arthritis may be on the cards. This response of the body results in inflammation of the joints and overproduction of skin cells.

Besides this, people with a family history of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis are also at the risk of developing this condition. In such people, a traumatic event or viral or bacterial infection may trigger the condition. Some of the key risk factors associated with the condition include:

  • Aging
  • Psoriasis
  • Family history of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis


Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis

Symptoms of the condition may vary from person to person, and they may range from mild to severe. With time, the symptoms start to become worse, and hence, timely diagnosis and treatment of the condition are important. Some of the common symptoms associated with the condition may include:

  • Pain, swelling, and tenderness around the joint
  • Swelling in fingers and toes
  • Morning stiffness
  • Pain in muscles and tendons
  • Nail pitting
  • Fatigue
  • Removal of the nail from the nail bed
  • Uveitis (Inflammation in the eye)
  • Lower back pain


Diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis may be misdiagnosed as another form of arthritis as some of the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis and other arthritic forms are similar, and hence, it is important to notice all the signs and symptoms thoroughly to correctly diagnose the condition.

Physical examination is the first step of the diagnosis of the condition where the healthcare service provider will look for visible signs like swelling and tenderness around the affected joint. Besides this, painful joint movements and locations are also noticed.

Certain imaging and pathological tests are also required to confirm the condition. The tests ordered may include:

  • X-ray
  • MRI
  • Rheumatoid factor
  • Joint fluid test


Treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis

No complete cure for psoriatic arthritis is there but, timely treatment is required to manage the symptoms before they become worse.

The healthcare service provider may prescribe disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to slow down the progression of the condition and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to provide relief from inflammation. The treatment of psoriatic arthritis always depends upon the severity of the condition. To ease pain, physical and occupational therapies might be helpful. Severe cases of the condition may require joint replacement surgery where either full or partial joint is replaced to restore function and mobility.

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