Types of Arthritis
There are more than 100 types of arthritis. Some of the most common and most important types of arthritis to know are summarized below:
1. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): It is a chronic autoimmune disease causing inflammation to joints and other tissues in the body. In this type, the immune system consisting of cells and proteins do not recognize the body's own muscles and joints. With RA, the autoimmune system also targets the synovial membrane that secretes synovial fluid (synovial fluid lubricates and nourishes the joint). Once the synovial membrane is attacked, the synovial fluid is destroyed and the secretion is stopped (5).
4. Psoriatic Arthritis: Psoriatic arthritis is a psoriasis (skin disorder) related inflammation of joints. The affected joints include the shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, knees, toes and Sacroiliac joints in the back. The inflammation may also affect tissue surrounding the joints, tendons and ligaments. About 30% people suffering from psoriasis are affected with psoriatic arthritis (8).
5. Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis (D.I.S.H): This type of arthritis involves ossification and calcification of the anterior longitudinal spinal ligament (the bone formation and growth along the front of the vertebral column). The ossification and calcification generally occurs in the lower-thoracic region (the lower middle part of the back) and can also occur in the cervical or neck region. It may be noted that ossification and calcification affect the areas where ligaments and tendons insert or attach to the bone. Other possible sites include knees, heel and elbow (9).
6. Gout: In this type, uric acid crystals get deposited within the joints causing inflammation. Uric acid is a naturally occurring compound resulting from metabolizing food and produced through the kidneys. Gout arthritis generally occurs at the small joint such as at the base of the big toe, other joints that are likely to be affected include ankles, knees, wrists and elbows. Annually, about 1 million are affected in the US with gout arthritis (10).
7. Pseudogout or Calcium Pyrophosphate Disease (CPPD): This is caused due to deposition of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the knee, wrist and shoulder joints. Pseudogout is associated with aging, previous trauma to the affected joint and metabolic diseases such as hyperparathyroidism, hypothyroidism and hemachromatosis. This type is slightly (about 1.5 times) more common in men as compared to women (11).
8. Scleroderma: This is a chronic connective tissue disorder or rheumatic condition affecting the hands, face and feet. Scleroderma, in its serious form, affects tissues and organs deep in the body (12).
9. Reiters Syndrome or Reactive Arthritis: This type of arthritis affects the joints, eyes, urethra and skin. Reiters syndrome is prevalent in HIV positive and sexually active males aged between 20 to 40 years. Reactive arthritis may also affect women and children in intestinal form and may occur in different organs (13).
10. Raynauds Phenomenon: This is a group of symptoms related to constriction (also known as vasospasm or vasospastic attack) of small blood vessels (arterioles). The vasospasm could occur when exposed to cold or emotional distress lasting from a few minutes to several hours. Mostly fingers are affected and to a lesser extent the toes (14).
11. Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is a chronic syndrome comprising of various symptoms and diffuse body pain of which the causes are not clearly known. It is thought that abnormalities of sensory processing within the central nervous system lead to amplification of sensory impulses (called central sensitization). The central sensitization may be responsible for symptoms of Fibromyalgia and it permits the perception of stimuli as pain that normally would not be perceived as pain. About 2% in the US suffer from Fibromyalgia and it is more prevalent in women then in men (15).
12. Pagets Disease or Osteitis deformans: Bone formation begins as an orderly process of bone destruction by cells called osteoclasts, then cells named osteoblasts reform the bone. This process of bone formation and destruction occurs in harmony to maintain bone strength in an organized manner. But in some people ,the bone destruction is at an accelerated rate followed by disorganized bone formation leading to weakening of the bone structure, this disorder is called Pagets disease. The exact causes of this disorder are not known (16).
13. Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS): Inflammation of the vertebral bones of the spine is known as Ankylosing Spondylitis. The inflammation could lead to degeneration, pain and loss of joint motion. AS generally affects the spine and may also affect other areas like hip joint. AS is three times more prevalent in males than in females (17).
14. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE): There is no known single cause for this disease. It is an inflammatory connective tissue disease with variable manifestations from mild to severe. Generally, SLE a chronic, life long illness affecting many organ systems. It is a fairly common disease with about 15 to 50 cases per 100,000 in the US (18).
15. Cervical Arthritis: This type affects the upper spine causing pain in the neck with the pain spreading to the arms. The cervical spine is composed of seven distinct vertebral bodies separated by inter-vertebral discs that give support and flexibility to the neck. Cervical arthritis is caused due to deterioration of the cartilage leading to a constriction of space in the vertebra causing extreme neck pain (19).
16. Infectious or Septic Arthritis: Improper treatment of bacterial or viral infections could damage joints causing infectious or septic arthritis. This type may affect any group from newborns to elderly people. Unlike other types, infectious arthritis is curable if promptly and properly treated. The bacterial infections include gonococcus, tuberculosis, staphylococcus, salmonella, spirochetes and syphilis. Viral infections such as hepatitis, mumps and infectious mononucleosis may also cause infectious arthritis (20).
17. Lumbosacral or Lumbar Arthritis: The exact cause of lumbosacral arthritis is not known. However, degeneration of the spine due to normal aging and an old injury to the spine are expected to play a role in lumbosacral arthritis (21).
18. Osteonecrosis or Avascular necrosis: The non-supply of blood to a particular area of the bone causes breakdown and collapse (death of bone) leading to osteonecrosis or avascular necrosis of hip, knee and ankle joints in adults. The disease develops in people aged between 20 to 40 years. The form of osteonecrosis in children and teenagers is called Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, occurring in the hip or head of the thigh bone (femur) (22).
19. Bursitis: Bursae are tiny, fluid-filled sacs that function as gliding surface to minimize friction between tissues of the body. An individual may have about 160 bursae which are located adjacent to the tendons near joints such as shoulder joint, elbow joint, hip joint and knee joint. Inflammation of these bursae may be due to arthritis in the joint or injury or infection causing pain and tenderness limiting the movement of the nearby joints (23).
20. Adult-Onset Stills Disease (AOSD): This is a very rare type marked with high, spiky fevers, rash and joint pain. This joint pain may continue into a long term (chronic) arthritis (24).
21. Gonococcal Arthritis: This is a bacterial infection of joints that occurs in people suffering from Gonorrhea (A sexually transmitted disease). This disease is common in sexually active adolescent girls (25).
22. Lyme Disease: Lyme disease is caused by tick bites. When ticks infected by the bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) bite a human, it leads to Lyme disease (26).
23. Tuberculous Arthritis: This is an infection of the joint due to tuberculosis. The joints involved includes the spine, hips, knees, wrists and ankles. Tuberculosis to the spine is referred as Potts Disease (27).
Article by Kona Vishnu, MS
|Copyright © OmniMedicalSearch.com : Page Last Modified : 12/15/2011|
OmniMedicalSearch does not provide medical advice & is for informational purposes only. Please see our Disclaimer & always consult with your physician.