Other Rheumatic Conditions We Treat

Other Rheumatic Conditions We Treat2022-03-01T09:02:06-06:00

Other Rheumatic Conditions We Treat

When you think of orthopedics, broken bones and joint replacements may likely come to mind. However, orthopedic medicine can treat many more conditions than you may realize. From inflammatory bowel syndrome to Lyme disease, the experts at OSMS can create a personalized treatment plan that will help you live life to the fullest.


Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) is characterized by chronic inflammation in the digestive tract and sometimes can be associated with inflammatory arthritis. IBDs include Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Patients with CD experience inflammation in the lining of their digestive tract that affects areas from the small intestine to large intestine or both. UC causes inflammation and sores in the inner lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. IBD is a serious ongoing health issue and can be potentially life-threatening. Researchers aren’t sure what causes IBDs.

Myositis occurs when you have inflammation in the muscles. The most common types of myositis are:

  • Polymyositis which causes muscle weakness around the middle of the body and affects both sides of the body.
  • Dermatomyositis which causes muscle weakness as well as a skin rash.

Other forms include juvenile dermatomyositis and inclusion body myositis, which mostly affects older people. Myositis can be caused by an injury, infection or an autoimmune disease, or a virus. Certain medications also can cause myositis.

Bursae are small, fluid filled sacs that act as cushions between your bones and soft tissue. The bursae help reduce friction in areas including your shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees. Bursitis occurs when the bursa become inflamed and irritated. Typically, bursitis occurs in the hip and is called either trochanteric bursitis or hip bursitis, depending on its location.

Sports injuries or repetitive movements are common causes of bursitis and tendinitis, but it can also be caused by:

  • Poor posture or walking habits
  • An abnormal or poorly positioned joint or bone
  • Some types of arthritis and related conditions
  • Metabolic conditions such as diabetes
  • Certain medications
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria transmitted from an infected tick, commonly known as a deer tick. According to Mayo Clinic, when left untreated, Lyme disease can cause:

  • Chronic joint inflammation (Lyme arthritis), particularly of the knee
  • Neurological symptoms, such as facial palsy and neuropathy
  • Cognitive defects, such as impaired memory
  • Heart rhythm irregularities
Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystal deposition disease (CPPD) occurs when crystals form deposits in the joint and surrounding tissues. This results in inflammation in the joint and eventually the breakdown of joint cartilage. People with CPPD often have other forms of arthritis including osteoarthritis, a chronic rheumatoid arthritis (RA)-like inflammatory arthritis, or pseudogout. Similar to gout, pseudogout causes acute pain.

Causes for CPPD are unknown. Genes likely play a role since CPPD runs in families. Researchers also suspect low blood magnesium or thyroid issues may also be factors.

Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is an inflammatory disorder that causes aching, stiffness and flu-like symptoms. It is rarely seen in people under 50 years old and is typically seen in people 70 and over. Women are more often affected by the disease than men.

Researchers aren’t sure why people get PMR, but they do believe it is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the body’s connective tissues.

When tiny collections of inflammatory cells (granulomas) grow in different parts of your body, it causes a condition known as sarcoidosis. It occurs most commonly the lungs, lymph nodes, eyes and skin. Although there is no cure for sarcoidosis, but most people are able to manage the condition well. In 50 percent of people, sarcoidosis will resolve itself on its own. A smaller percent of people will have sarcoidosis for years and may suffer organ damage as a result.

Sarcoidosis usually occurs between the ages of 20 and 40. African-Americans have a higher incidence of the disease than white Americans. The condition also tends to run in families.

Scleroderma is a condition that affects about 300,000 Americans. It can be categorized as either localized scleroderma or systemic sclerosis.

Localized scleroderma mainly affects the skin, but also can affect tissues beneath the skin including fat, connective tissue, muscle and bone. It is more common in children and in adults it affects women more often than men. The disease appears in people between the ages of 20 and 50. There are two types of localized scleroderma. Linear scleroderma causes lines or streaks of thickened skin form over an area of the body, such as an arm, leg or the head, and may cause deep-tissue injury (ulcers on the skin). Morphe scleroderma is characterized by one or more hard, oval, discolored patches of skin.

The second type, systemic sclerosis can affect many parts of the body, including the skin, blood vessels, digestive system, heart, lungs, kidneys, muscles and joints. Thirty percent of people with scleroderma have systemic sclerosis. There are two types of systemic sclerosis. Limited scleroderma which affects the skin on the face, fingers and hands, and lower arms and legs and diffuse scleroderma, where the skin thickening is widespread and may affect any part of the body.

Scleroderma is believed to be an autoimmune disease where the body produces too much collagen which causes the skin to thicken and may cause internal organs to function abnormally.

Sjögren’s syndrome is a chronic, autoimmune disease that attacks the normal cells of glands that produce moisture in the eyes, mouth and other tissues. The result is dryness of the eyes, mouth and other body parts.

Primary Sjögren’s occurs when the condition exists by itself. While secondary Sjögren’s develops as complication of a pre-existing disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma or myositis.

Sjögren’s syndrome affects one to four million people in the United States and ninety percent of them are women. Sjögren’s syndrome tends to run in families

Vasculitis is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system attacks the blood vessels by mistake, causing inflammation and leading to a narrowing of the vessels. Vasculitis can occur along with a rheumatic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. In severe cases, patients can develop organ damage or die. Anyone can be affected by vasculitis.

There are many types of vasculitis that are classified according to the size of the blood vessels affected. The cause of vasculitis is unknown.

Raynaud’s phenomenon occurs when the blood vessels that feed the fingers and toes get smaller in reaction to cold or emotional stress. The result is painfully cold, tingling or numb fingers, toes, hands, feet, lips and/or tongue. They may also change color to pale white or blue.

Most people with Raynaud’s have what is called primary disease occurring on its own. It can happen at any age, but usually begins before age 30 and is more common in women and people who live in cold climates.

Secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon is less common, but it is often severe. It occurs with other diseases, such as lupus or scleroderma and may be linked to certain medicines, such as chemotherapy drugs, or the use of vibrating tools, such as a jackhammer.

Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS) is an autoimmune disease which can cause clotting in arteries and veins and/or miscarriages. It is the result of proteins in the blood called anti-phospholipid antibodies (commonly called aPL) formed against the person’s own tissues.

Blood clots in the arteries in the heart and brain are extremely dangerous and can lead to heart attacks and stroke. Most often clots forming in the veins occur in the lower legs. These clots can break off and travel to the lung, causing a very serious condition called pulmonary embolism.

The aPL can lead to early and late miscarriage and preeclampsia in pregnant women and may also may attack the placental tissues.

Nobody knows what causes periodic Fever, Aphthous Stomatitis, Pharyngitis, Cervical Adenitis (PFAPA), but it is characterized by recurring episodes of fever, sore throat, mouth sores and swelling of the glands in the neck. Researchers feel it may be the most common recurrent fever (autoinflammatory) syndrome that does not come from an infection.

Anyone can develop PFAPA and it usually starts between the ages of two to five years. Rarely, PFAPA may develop at an older age in adults.

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