OA vs Rheumatoid arthritis

  1. 0 Lately I have been curious regarding the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis I noticed that a lot of my patients are diagnosed with OA rarely anyone is thought to have RA, I noticed that symptoms are similar for OA and RA, a lot of my OA patient tells me their knees are swollen and painful, but redness and edema and pain is often a major symptom of RA, are they misdiagnosed or have both, how do you truly distinguish between those two different type of Arthtitis, it is mind bogging...
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    Visit  Blackheartednurse profile page

    About Blackheartednurse

    Joined Sep '09; Posts: 1,432; Likes: 741.

    16 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  MJB2010 profile page
    0
    I think osteo is due to overuse of the joints or from athletics whereas rhuematoid is an autoimmune disorder. There are blood tests that can test for RA. It is in the same category and often misdiagnosed with lupus. The patients need to see a rheumatologist to be properly tested and diagnosed. Some with RA also get psoriasis whereas lupus can have a rash as well. I am not an expert so I apologize if this is vague. I have a family member with RA and she is always getting sent from one dr to the next with little relief.
  4. Visit  xtxrn profile page
    7
    OA- mechanical
    RA- autoimmune
    Both involve joints, motion, and "use" trauma.
  5. Visit  MJB2010 profile page
    0
    I must add, I would not wish RA on anyone. Looks terribly painful.
  6. Visit  xtxrn profile page
    0
    Quote from MJB2010
    I must add, I would not wish RA on anyone. Looks terribly painful.
    First person I remember seeing w/RA was a 7 year old kid.... I was 8... It was really sad. She did really well, though I don't know what happened to her. She was in one of the 'umbrella' strollers when she had bad days; otherwise, she sort of hobble-limped. It was really sad- but the kid enjoyed what she could.
  7. Visit  TX RN profile page
    2
    OA is typically unilateral.
    RA is usually symmtetrical, typically to the small joints.
    X-rays, physical exam and serological tests (RA factor, CRP and others) are used make the diagnosis. In the early part of the disease it's usually difficult to differentiate between the two. Sero-negative serum studies and unitlateral findings make the two difficult to differentiate.

    However, what you really want to know is if you're patient is responding to treatment. NSAID's are a logical place to start. If the patient responds well to treatment, continue with it. If the patient doesn't, alternative treatment should be sought. And yes, if RA is in question but not clearly diagnosed, a rheumatologist should be consulted.
    GrnTea and Hospice Nurse LPN like this.
  8. Visit  Ayvah profile page
    3
    As others have said, you can think of OA as "wear and tear" but RA is autoimmune and varies in how quickly it progresses. RA can "turn on" in childhood, or after serious illness or even pregnancy -- its not just for the elderly. RA can also affect the person internally - lungs, heart. The damage of RA is cumulative and crippling, so it must be aggressively treated with immunosuppressants. Most patients with RA will be on 20mg of oral/injectible methotrexate once a week, daily folic acid, and an anti-tnf injectible medication (such as Enbrel/Humria) or infusion. Some more severe cases will be on multiple immunosuppressants. Methotrexate and many of the other medications for RA require routine bloodwork every few months to ensure no liver damage. As long as a patient is compliant with medications and has good communication with their doctor, most can reduce the frequency of pain/inflammaton/swelling 'flare ups' and can have many more healthy joint years.

    The majority of people with RA can be diagnosed by history and bloodtests such as rheumatoid factor and anti-ccp antibody, but some people are "seronegative". These people will display the signs of RA and will show marked improvement on the RA medications before being given the final diagnosis of "seronegative RA".
  9. Visit  Blackheartednurse profile page
    0
    and then you have the famous third form of RA, such as fibromyalgia which I always thought more of as a "muscle" disease rather than a type of RA, which can affect the chest, low back, arms, hips, tighs and neck and which may require different type of treatment drugs
  10. Visit  Ayvah profile page
    0
    Quote from Blackheartednurse
    and then you have the famous third form of RA, such as fibromyalgia which I always thought more of as a "muscle" disease rather than a type of RA, which can affect the chest, low back, arms, hips, tighs and neck and which may require different type of treatment drugs
    I'm not entirely sure what you mean, there's multiple types of arthritis but fibromyalgia is not rheumatoid arthritis. You would not give immunosuppressants to someone with fibromyalgia.
  11. Visit  seashells2011 profile page
    2
    I was just diagnosed with RA back in May (crp and sed rate to confirm). It is a genetic autoimmune disease that can affect not only the joints (mainly toes, knees, hips, hands, wrists, shoulders, and neck), but the major organs as well (heart, lungs). It also causes extreme fatigue. It is treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and immunosuppressants. This is to help slow the irreversable damage done to the joints.

    So far, I am only exhibiting symptoms such as fatigue, daily joint pain. I once took care of a patient who had severe RA and had to have numerous surgeries to fuse bones in her ankles and her hands had become extremely distorted to the point that she really had no use of her extremities. It was frightening. I am actually really concerned because I am only 43 yrs. old. I have not been to RA doc, but my appt is on Monday, 10/31. I'll keep you posted.

    P.S. My mother has it, but she was not diagnosed until 5 yrs. ago (60 yrs. old). Hope this helps to answer your question.
  12. Visit  roser13 profile page
    2
    Quote from Blackheartednurse
    and then you have the famous third form of RA, such as fibromyalgia which I always thought more of as a "muscle" disease rather than a type of RA, which can affect the chest, low back, arms, hips, tighs and neck and which may require different type of treatment drugs
    I hope this is tongue in cheek?

    Fibromyalgia is in not a third form of RA.
    psu_213 and Hospice Nurse LPN like this.
  13. Visit  iwanna profile page
    0
    I think there are many Rheumatoid diseases with symptoms of joint pain; however, it is not considered RA. I have a rheumatoid disease, but it is not RA. I have rheumatoid nodules, but, again, not RA.
    I believe there are many forms of arthritis, not just OA and RA. OA is more of a wear and tear, found especially in athletes, the elderly, and injured joints.
  14. Visit  JustBeachyNurse profile page
    1
    Here is a very good article that explains the difference between OA & RA:
    http://www.emedicinehealth.com/scrip...050&ref=128218


    Fibromyalgia is not arthritis in any form, though some consider it to be an "arthritis related disorder" ( a controversial topic). It is a cluster of symptoms that often cannot be observed objectively and is usually a diagnosis of exclusion (Can't find anything else wrong). There are no definitive tests for fibromyalgia. The symptoms vary greatly between individuals but usually include widespread muscle pain, sleep disorders/disturbances, anxiety & depression, headaches, fatigue, and more. Most often fibromyalgia is treated with antidepressants and exercise.

    the drugs used for RA (immune modulators, DMARDs, methotrexate, Enebrel, prednisone, NSAIDS, etc.) are NEVER used for fibromyalgia. RA is an autoimmune disease that causes bilateral joint degeneration (due to the destruction of the synovial lining of the joints) and can be diagnosed by certain blood tests (rheumatoid factor, CRP, ESR, ANA, and a few others), joint aspiration will show specific findings, x-ray and others. RA is progressive and incurable. RA causes painful joint deformities, often affecting the hands and small joints progressing to the major joints.

    Osteoarthritis is a result of wear and tear on the joints and may be unilateral or bilateral. It is not autoimmune in nature. OA can be caused by trauma, overuse, misuse or simply a lifelong of weight bearing. OA is a breakdown of the cartilage in the joints. OA can be diagnosed by x-ray and history, sometimes by arthroscopy & joint aspiration. Usually OA is treated with NSAIDS and sometimes intra-articular injection medication. OA is 10 times more common than RA.


    Technically there are over 100 types of arthritis, OA & RA are the most commonly discussed.

    http://arthritis.about.com/od/arthri...itis_facts.htm
    http://arthritis.about.com/od/diseas...-Arthritis.htm


    From arthritis.org What is RA what is OA


    There are many resources that explain the difference between RA & OA.

    http://dissertations.ub.rug.nl/FILES...ecourt/c12.pdf

    http://www.unifesp.br/grupos/fibromi...iga.and.fm.pdf
    GrnTea likes this.


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