Types of Arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis


    An X-ray of the pelvis of a 90-year-old woman, showing osteoarthritis of the right hip (white) — a type of arthritis that results from the general wear and tear of aging. In a healthy individual there is usually a clear space between the ball and socket, but this joint shows little or no space, indicating cartilage loss. Treatment is with the surgical joint replacement.

  • Heberden node

    Heberden node

    A ring-like swelling towards the fingertip, common in individuals with osteoarthritis, which is formed by a lump of cartilage-covered bone around the terminal joint. Osteoarthritis most commonly affects the elderly.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

    Rheumatoid arthritis

    Colored X-ray showing erosion of both knee joints due to rheumatoid arthritis, a type of arthritis caused by an autoimmune disorder. The disease typically affects the joints of the fingers, wrists, feet, ankles, hips and/or shoulders symmetrically, with the degree of severity varying considerably. Clinicians diagnose rheumatoid arthritis using a blood test to determine the presence of rheumatoid factor, and X-rays that show erosion of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is treated with anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) or antirheumatic drugs (DMARDS).

  • Synovitis


    Knee swollen from synovitis. Synovitis is inflammation of the synovial membrane that lines the joints and can occur with arthritis, most commonly the rheumatoid form of the disease.

  • Arthritic hands

    Arthritic hands

    Arthritic hands showing symmetrical deformation of the joints that is consistent with rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Septic arthritis

    Septic arthritis

    Also known as pyogenic arthritis or infective arthritis, this form of arthritis is caused by an infection. This photo shows the knee of an 88-year-old woman that has septic arthritis associated with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The infected joint becomes red, painful and swollen. Treatment includes painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy, and joint replacement surgery.

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Arthritis involves the inflammation of one or more joints. The condition occurs when cartilage that normally protects the joint breaks down, causing the bones to rub together. This results in pain, swelling, stiffness and limited motion.

As many as 37 million Americans have arthritis with etiologies ranging from autoimmune disorder to infection to general wear and tear from aging. View the slideshow below to learn more.

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