What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is extremely common and is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis. It is one of two kinds of arthritis that are known to affect the feet. However, rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic condition and therefore can affect other areas of the body, such as the wrist, knees and ankles. Also, rheumatoid arthritis causes changes in the skin, eyes, blood and nerves, but this only occurs in severe or advanced cases but the initial signs are apparent in the small joints of the body, such as the hands and feet.
Rheumatoid arthritis causes the immune system to break down the tissue in the body, which can leave individuals more open to infection and disease, however, this also impacts the strength of the bone, cartilage and ligaments. Rheumatoid arthritis treatments are largely reactive to limit pain, however, if cartilage becomes too damaged, a doctor may recommend fusion procedures or surgery, such as joint sparing, to combat the symptoms and subsequent side effects of RA.