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Two different types of arthritis

Although osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis can cause pain in small joints, they are different conditions that some physicians misdiagnose. New Mexico patients with arthritis might feel more confident about the treatment they receive if they understand what makes these conditions different.

Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis, and it involves the cartilage between the joints deteriorating. Patients begin to feel pain because the bones rub together, usually in the hands, spine, hips and knees. The joint pain worsens as osteoarthritis progresses, which is one of the most revealing symptoms of the disease.

With psoriatic arthritis, the skin and joints become inflamed. Psoriasis appears as red, raised patches of skin with white, inflamed areas and scales. The most-affected areas are the tops of the knees and elbows as well as the belly button, scalp and skin surrounding the genital area. Between 10 and 30 percent of patients with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis.

The best way to identify psoriatic arthritis is increased swelling in the feet hands that causes deformities. Another common symptom is severe pain in the feet because it affects the joints where the ligaments and tendons attach to bone. This usually happens in the soles of the feet and the Achilles tendon.

Although inflammation can occur in osteoarthritis in the beginning, it is not a primary symptom. It is also possible for spinal pain to occur with psoriatic arthritis, but it happens more often with osteoarthritis. Bone spurs can occur with both conditions as well. Furthermore, osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis tend to develop in people who are overweight or obese and older than 40, and they could occur at the same time. A physician could make a misdiagnosis because of these overlapping features.

When patients do not receive the appropriate treatment because of a misdiagnosed medical condition, they could suffer serious complications. In such cases, the patients or their families may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to learn how best to seek compensation for their losses.

Source: Bel Marra Health, "Psoriatic arthritis vs. osteoarthritis, differences in symptoms, causes, and treatment," Dr. Victor Marchione, June 30, 2016

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