What's New
Health & Fitness
Bones & Muscles
Dental Health
Diet & Exercise
Health Info
Hearing & Vision
Men's Issues
Mental Health
Women's Issues
Legal & Financial
Home & Garden
Arts & Leisure
Forever Young
About Us
Search the Site

Rheumatoid Arthritis Questions
Answered by Michele M. Hooper, MD, University Hospitals Health Systems

Q. What is the difference between Rheumatoid Arthritis and "regular" arthritis?

I have been told I have Rheumatoid Arthritis in my back and arthritis in my fingers. Thank you

A. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory arthritis, which means that the cells lining the joint grow out of control (the synovial cells) and damage the joint.

It is also a systemic disease associated with non-joint complications like anemia, lung thickening and premature death.

Degenerative arthritis is a wearing away of the cartilage, without inflammation. The cartilage is the shock absorber so it is associated with pain when the joint is used.

Q. Does arthritis spread? In other words, will the arthritis in my hands wind up in other places?

A. If you have arthritis at one site, you are at increased risk for developing it in other joints.

The exception would be if it was caused by an injury to a single joint. Then it would not spread.

Michele M. Hooper, MD, a rheumatologist with University Hospitals Health Systems, is Senior Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio Chapter.

For more information about arthritis, contact the Arthritis Foundation at 216-831-7000, ext. 114 or, toll-free, at 800-245-2275, ext. 114.

ClevelandSeniors.com - the home of health information for seniors and boomers age 50 and over

Top of Page

Back to Arthritis and Bones

Jaime Lebrón of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield

Selecting the right health plan can be confusing, which is why I'm here to help.

Copyright © 2001-2009 ClevelandSeniors.Com. All Rights Reserved.
Questions or Comments? E-Mail us at: