Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes the lining of the joints to swell. It can result in painful swelling, wearing down of bone and joint deformity. It is an autoimmune disorder – a condition where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own body tissues.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: What You Need to Know 

Technology

Our team uses the latest technology to treat rheumatoid arthritis. We begin with non-surgical treatments such as physical therapy and medications. If your pain and inflammation are not decreasing, surgery may be recommended.  

Personalized Care 

You and your family will feel the advantages of personalized, patient-centered care. Every patient is different and we work with you to optimize your RA treatment.

Experienced, Trusted Expertise

U.S. News has named Fletcher Allen a Best Regional Hospital and even ranked one of our rheumatology specialist physicians in the top 1% nationally. Our orthopedic specialty also received the highest marks for quality. 

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, inflammatory condition that can cause joint pain and damage. In some cases, the smaller joints of the body, such as wrists, hands, ankles and feet, may be affected first. Because it is an autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis can also affect your whole body with fatigue and fevers.

Genetics may play some part in the development of rheumatoid arthritis. While genes don’t actually cause the disease, they can make people more susceptible to environmental factors or infections that can trigger the disease. Risk factors for developing the disease include: 

  • Gender - the condition is more common in women than men
  • Age - the condition generally occurs in middle age
  • Family history - parent, brother or sister with RA
  • Smoking (Want to quit smoking?)

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms may vary in severity.  They can come and go.  Symptoms may include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Morning stiffness
  • Bumps or nodules under the skin of the arms
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis and Treatment

The treatment that is right for you will depend upon your exact rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.

Fletcher Allen’s orthopedic surgeons are highly trained in performing RA surgical procedures for rheumatoid arthritis. Our knowledgeable physicians use advanced technology to diagnose and treat rheumatoid arthritis on a regular basis. 

Learn more about rheumatoid arthritis treatment.

Find a Fletcher Allen Health Care physician or call 802-847-2663.