Rheumatoid Arthritis

Southern Joint Replacement Institute

Orthopaedic Surgery & Fellowship Trained Adult Orthopaedic Surgeons located in Nashville, TN

Are you suffering from extreme joint pain? You may have rheumatoid arthritis. At Southern Joint Replacement Institute in Nashville, Tennessee, expert orthopedic surgeon Jeffrey T. Hodrick, MD, and the medical team can help. Dr. Hodrick specializes in diagnosing and treating rheumatoid arthritis with a focus on comprehensive care, helping patients regain mobility and improve overall well-being. Call the office or request an appointment online at Southern Joint Replacement Institute today.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Q&A

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by inflammation, pain, and joint stiffness. Unlike osteoarthritis, which stems from joint wear and tear, RA occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues, leading to chronic joint inflammation.

How do I know if I have rheumatoid arthritis?

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is crucial for timely intervention. Common indicators may include:

  • Joint pain and swelling, affecting multiple joints symmetrically

  • Prolonged morning stiffness

  • Fatigue and general malaise

  • Warmth and redness around affected joints

  • Decreased joint mobility and eventual deformities

Seeking medical evaluation at Southern Joint Replacement Institute is essential for accurate diagnosis and appropriate management. If you suspect you may have RA, Dr. Hodrick may utilize several diagnostic tools such as blood tests, including rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibody tests, X-rays, ultrasound, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and symptom evaluation.

How do you treat rheumatoid arthritis?

While there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, effective management strategies can help control symptoms and slow disease progression. At Southern Joint Replacement Institute, Dr. Hodrick develops personalized treatment plans to address your unique needs, focusing on pain relief and preserving joint function.

Medication Management

Medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and biologic agents, may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms.

Physical Therapy

Customized exercise programs designed by skilled therapists aim to improve joint flexibility, strength, and function, aiding in maintaining mobility and preventing further joint damage.

Surgical Intervention

In cases where conservative treatments are insufficient, Dr. Hodrick may recommend surgical options such as joint replacement surgery. This procedure may be considered to restore joint function and alleviate pain.

Lifestyle Modifications

Adopting lifestyle changes such as weight management, smoking cessation, and engaging in joint-friendly exercises can contribute to symptom management and overall joint health.

At Southern Joint Replacement Institute, compassionate care and personalized support are paramount in our approach to managing rheumatoid arthritis. Patients can schedule a consultation with our team to embark on a path toward improved joint health and quality of life. Call the office or request your consultation online today.