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Misdiagnosing arthritis


Oregon arthritis sufferers should be aware of the distinctions between psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis. Both conditions affect the small joints and have other similarities, but they require different treatments. Osteoarthritis primarily affects the cartilage and affects people as they age, while psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory condition. Osteoarthritis may also present inflammation, but it is not a primary facet of the condition.

Psoriatic arthritis is commonly mistaken for osteoarthritis because both conditions tend to affect those over the age of 40. Both conditions are common among those who are overweight or obese and they are also associated with injury to the joints. It is also possible to simultaneously suffer from osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Nonetheless, anti-inflammatory treatments for psoriatic arthritis are not usually effective for osteoarthritis sufferers when used alone.

A major step in identifying the differences between psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis is to look at specific symptoms. PsA typically presents with swelling in the hands and feet and severe foot pain. Osteoarthritis typically affects the joints that see the most movement, such as the hands, knees, spine and feet. PsA affects the sufferer in cycles while osteoarthritis is more consistent. Research shows that osteoarthritis affects as many as 70 percent of American adults between ages 55 and 78, while the exact number of PsA sufferers is unknown.

A misdiagnosis of either of these diseases could result in prolonged suffering without treatment and greater severity in symptoms. Because arthritic conditions are usually progressive, a diagnostic failure could mean greater medical costs associated with more advanced treatments as well. Those who have been harmed by such a failure may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to see if there is any recourse available.