Can Arthritis Come On Suddenly?

The Florida Hand Center Doctors Offer Effective Solutions for Arthritic Joint Pain

According to Arthritis.org, over 53 million adults in America are living with arthritis, and the fingers, hands, and wrists are among the most frequently afflicted joints. Our doctors work with many individuals from the Port Charlotte and Fort Myers area treating arthritic pain and other symptoms, including joint swelling and joint stiffness.

For some of these patients, their debilitating symptoms seem to come out of nowhere…but is this possible? Can arthritis develop so quickly?

Onset Variations of Arthritis: Our Doctors Explain

Common knowledge tends to tell us arthritis is a “wear and tear” process which gradually worsens over time. Many of our patients are surprised to learn arthritis is causing their sudden dysfunction when they come to us for help.

Arthritis is a broad clinical term encompassing over 100 different conditions contributing to joint derangement and inflammation. These conditions can present in a variety of ways. A patient’s unique clinical manifestation depends on several factors—most importantly, the type of arthritis they’re living with.

Osteoarthritis, for instance, is the most common form of arthritis and hallmarked by chronic degeneration, cartilage breakdown, and joint space narrowing. Symptoms of OA typically develop slowly (generally over a period of months and years) and can worsen with time. Arthritis of varying degrees (mild, moderate, severe) can be present without symptoms as well. The autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis is another example of an arthritic condition associated with a more gradual onset.

On the other hand (no pun intended), arthritic conditions related to inflammatory processes often appear to come out of nowhere. This includes conditions like gout, pseudogout, septic arthritis, Reiter syndrome, and even Lyme disease. In these cases, the underlying arthritic condition is either truly acute in nature, or it could be chronic and simply remain asymptomatic until triggered by some genetic and/or environmental stimulus. In this way, arthritis could seem “sudden” even if it’s a chronic health problem.

How Our Doctors Manage Arthritic Conditions

If you’re living with chronic arthritis symptoms or are suddenly dealing with an acute case of hand pain, swelling, redness, and stiffness, optimal treatment rests on proper diagnosis. Our doctors at the Florida Hand Center utilize evidence-based diagnostic tools such as imaging studies to correlate with a clinical examination and discussion of your symptoms to determine the specific type of arthritis you may have.
Once a diagnosis is confirmed, we work with you to determine the most appropriate plan of care that will help you manage your chronic or acute symptoms as well as the underlying condition itself.

Looking for Arthritic Treatment for the upper extremities in Port Charlotte and Fort Myers? Contact Us Today for a Free Hand Screening

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in America, but treatment, management, and symptom relief is possible. Are you concerned about your hand health? Contact the Florida Hand Center at 941-625-3782 to schedule your free hand screening!