Arthritis and rheumatic diseases
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Rheumatoid arthritis can damage cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. Therefore, replacement options such as ACL
Rheumatoid arthritis can damage cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. Therefore, replacement options such as ACL are beneficial. RA also leads to joint deformation and patients will require joint replacement options. RA also can lead to major organ damage causing need for heart, lung, and kidney replacements.
Revision as of 00:05, 4 April 2013
According to the Arthritis Foundation arthritis is "a complex family of musculoskeletal disorders consisting of more than 100 different diseases or conditions that destroy joints, bones, muscles, cartilage and other connective tissues, hampering or halting physical movement". Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States. It is also one of the most commonly misunderstood ailment. The root cause is unknown for most of these diseases. Currently, there exists no cure.
- 50 million Americans have an arthritis
- 2/3 are under the age of 65
- 300,000 children have arthritis
- 44 million outpatient visits per year due to arthritis
- 992,100 hospital visits due to arthritis
- By 2030, 67 million Americans will have arthritis
- $128 billion/year is spent in the US on arthritis related health care costs
- 27 million Americans have osteoarthritis
- 1.3 million Americas have rheumatoid arthritis
- 2% have fibromyalgia
- 2% have psoriatic arthritis
Arthritis is defined as and literally means joint inflammation. There are four common types of arthritis: osteo-, rheumatoid, juvenile, and psoriatic.
Osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown of cartilage due to weight, injury, age, genetics, and/or muscle weakness. It is the most common form of arthritis afflicting 27 million Americans. It is also one of the few with a known cause, although not preventable if your genetically predisposed.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- joint soreness
- joint stiffness
- morning stiffness
- joint pain
- loss of coordination
Osteoarthritis can occur in hips, knees, the lower back, neck and joints of the fingers. The joints can be affected in any combination, on any side, regardless of symmetry.
Osteoarthritis is arguably the easiest of the major arthritis' to diagnose.
Overtime, joints can deteriorate at which point joint replacement may be inevitable. This is made possible by the field of tissue engineering.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the membranes that line the body's joints. Autoimmune diseases are defined as diseases that cause your body to attack itself. As with most autoimmune diseases, RA is most common in women.
Genetic markers have been identified. These markers are used to predict if you may develop RA. Though they can predict the possibility, they do not provide any definitive results. RA is a difficult disease to diagnose. If it is not caught earlier and treatment begun major damage can occur.
Symptoms of RA are intermittent making it hard to diagnose (this is again a result of autoimmune diseases). The most common symptoms of RA include:
- joint damage
- organ damage
- decreased range of motion
- warm joints
- inflammation and swelling
- joint pain (symmetrical)
- lose of appetite
- low grade fever (a symptom of all rheumatic diseases)
- rheumatoid nodules
Rheumatoid arthritis can damage cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. Therefore, replacement options such as ACL Reconstruction are beneficial. RA also leads to joint deformation and patients will require joint replacement options. RA also can lead to major organ damage causing need for heart, lung, and kidney replacements. See Dialysis, by Kyle Reed, Hip Replacements, by Matt Osso, Artificial Hearts, by Manuel Escanciano and Charles Beyrouthy.
Potential for Tissue Engineering
Many of these ailments are degenerative, meaning they will destroy joints and/or organs. Therefore, there is an extensive need for solutions that only tissue engineering can provide. The most common engineered solutions are joint replacements. Depending on the condition, the joints requiring replacement can include knees, hips, and shoulders. Treatments such as spinal fusion can also be necessary.
For diseases such as lupus that affect your internal organs, artificial organs are critical. Artificial kidneys, valves, bladder, hearts, lungs all can be used in patients with severe organ degeneration, directly or indirectly, caused by arthritis and rheumatic diseases.