Rheumatologists at Greenwich Hospital are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis. Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints, which results in pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited movement. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis. The two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis (OA), also called osteoarthroses or degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis. Caused by wear and tear, it is a chronic condition characterized by the breakdown of cartilage in the joint. This causes the bones to rub against each other, resulting in stiffness, pain and loss of movement in the joint. The joints most often affected are the knees, hips, hands, and spine.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the cell lining inside the joint. It is mainly characterized by inflammation and can lead to long-term joint damage, resulting in chronic pain and disability.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The goal of most arthritis treatment is to limit pain and inflammation, while ensuring that the joint continues to function as well as possible. Greenwich Hospital rheumatologists work with other specialists, such as orthopedists and physiatrists, to develop treatment plans tailored to each patient. These plans take into consideration the specific type of arthritis the patient has, and the severity of their condition.
Treatment plans often involve both short-term and long-term relief approaches. These include:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen for pain and inflammation
- Fast acting medications such as acetaminophen, NSAIDs and corticosteroids (such as prednisone) given orally or by injection
- Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic medications such as methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine
- Biologic drugs, such as Embrel, Orencia, Rituxin and Remicade, that prevent inflammation
- Weight reduction and exercise
- Surgery to repair or replace a joint
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
The physiatrists and therapists at Greenwich Hospital's Department of Physical Medicine specialize in treatment for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid conditions. These experts work with patients to manage pain and increase mobility and strength.
Learn more about Physical Therapy