Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. A joint is an area of the body where two different bones meet. A joint functions to move the body parts connected by its bones.
Arthritis is classified as rheumatic diseases. Rheumatic diseases are painful conditions usually caused by inflammation, swelling and pain in the joints or muscles.
Generally, the pain associated with arthritis develops gradually, although sudden onset is also possible. Arthritic joints are swollen or inflamed usually because the smooth cartilage around them has been damaged in some way. This makes it difficult to bend or straighten the knee. Inflammation of the joints from arthritis is characterized by joint stiffness, swelling, redness, and warmth.
There are over 100 types of arthritis identified, but some forms are more common than others. The types range from those related to wear and tear of cartilage, to those associated with inflammation resulting from an overactive immune system. Together, the many types of arthritis make up the most common chronic illness in the United States.
Types of Arthritis
Although there are over 100 different types of arthritis diseases, there are three basic types.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of knee arthritis. It is usually a slow, progressive, degenerative disease in which the joint cartilage gradually wears away. Osteoarthritis is most common in middle-aged and older people.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis that can destroy the joint cartilage. It can occur at any age and generally affects both knees.
Post-traumatic arthritis can develop after an injury to the knee. This type of arthritis is similar to osteoarthritis and may develop years after a fracture, ligament injury, or meniscus tear.
To see pictures of arthritis affecting the knee and shoulder, please visit our knee x-ray and shoulder x-ray galleries.
Beverly Hills arthritis specialist, Dr. Eric Millstein, has helped many patients manage the symptoms and pain associated with arthritis. To find out what treatments will provide you with the most relief, schedule an appointment with Dr. Millstein today by calling (310) 595-1030.