Rheumatoid Arthritis Quiz: What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP on February 8, 2017
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The term arthritis refers to stiffness in the joints.

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. Though joint stiffness is a symptom of this, it is not the disease itself. Arthritis also causes pain, swelling, redness, and warmth.

True False

What are early signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

In early stages of rheumatoid arthritis, the inflammation in the joints can cause tenderness and pain. There may not be as much redness or swelling as there is in later stages. Other early signs of rheumatoid arthritis may include joint stiffness that lasts at least 30 minutes, especially in the mornings. Some patients may have flare-ups, which can include fever, loss of appetite, and fatigue.

Joint pain, tenderness, redness, and swelling Loss of joint range of motion Limping All of the above

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is different from some other forms of arthritis because it…

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) differs from some other forms of arthritis because it is symmetrical, affecting both sides of the body. Other types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis, may affect only one side of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis is also characterized as an autoimmune disorder, one in which the body mistakenly attacks its own tissues, while osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that happens over time.

Is more painful than other forms Occurs below the waist Is symmetrical, affecting the right and left sides of the body Generally occurs above the waist

Rheumatoid arthritis is more severe in…

Rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect three times as many women as men, and symptoms may be more severe in women as well. RA tends to affect women at earlier ages, and men seem to have more cases of remission of the disease.

Men Women

People with rheumatoid arthritis experience the most stiffness at night.

People with rheumatoid arthritis tend to experience muscle and joint stiffness most in the morning or after extended periods of inactivity.

True False

Rheumatology is the branch of medicine that involves the study of...

Rheumatology is the branch of medicine that involves the study of disorders of the joints, muscles, and bones, autoimmune diseases, and soft tissue diseases. A rheumatologist is usually an internal medicine specialist or pediatrician, with additional specialized rheumatology training to identify and treat the more than 100 different types of arthritis in addition to other autoimmune disorders such as lupus, gout, and osteoporosis.

The immune system Musculoskeletal (muscles and bones) system Rheumatic diseases All of the above

Surgery is the only way to treat RA.

Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis usually involves a combination of medication, exercise, rest, and protecting the joints. Surgery may be needed in some cases.

True False

Rheumatoid arthritis can be cured if diagnosed and treated early.

Currently, there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment for RA that is started early on in the disease process can help minimize or slow damage to the joints and improve quality of life for patients.

True False

The sudden appearance or worsening of RA symptoms is referred to as a(n) ...

A flare is the sudden appearance, increase, or worsening of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms such as pain, inflammation, redness, warmth, or tenderness. Flares can last for days or weeks.

Outbreak Flare Burst Eruption

With rheumatoid arthritis, deformity of the joints is caused by chronic inflammation.

The chronic inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis can lead to debilitating loss of cartilage, bone weakness, and joint deformity in some patients. Damage to the joints worsens over time.

True False

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