Doctor Biehl

Test Your Arthritis Knowledge

Test Your Arthritis Knowledge

Questions:
True or False

1. Arthritis is a disease of the elderly.
2. Aching joints are a common symptom of arthritis.
3. People with arthritis must learn to live with aching joints.
4. Arthritis can come from an injury.
5. Some people just wake up one morning and have painful arthritis in the knee joint.
6. The cause of arthritis is well known.
7. Arthritis occurs in major joints such as the hip and knee.
8. You can inherit rheumatoid arthritis.
9. Once the cartilage in the joint has worn away in osteoarthritis, your body will not grow new cartilage.
10. People with arthritis should avoid exercise because the activity will make the condition worse.

Multiple Choice

1. Arthritis includes how many different diseases?
a. One
b. 10
c. 25
d. 100+
e. None of the above

2. Which of the following vertebrates can suffer osteoarthritis?
a. Man
b. Porpoises
c. Whales
d. Dinosaurs
e. All of the above

3. Arthritis is diagnosed by:
a. The pattern of symptoms
b. Medical history
c. Physical exam, X-rays and lab tests
d. A and B only
e. All of the above

4. Arthritis treatment programs:
a. Are generally ineffective
b. Combine medication, exercise, rest and other techniques
c. Never include surgery
d. Avoid use of heat and cold
e. All of the above

5. How many Americans have arthritis?
a. 430,000
b. 70 million
c. 43 million
d. More than 50 million
e. None of the above

6. How much does arthritis cost the U.S. economy in medical care and lost wages?
a. $6.5 million
b. $65 million
c. $650 million
d. $6.5 billion
e. $125 billion

Answers:
True or False

1. False. More than half of people affected by arthritis are under age 65. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect people of all ages, even children. However, the population is aging. The number of people with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions is expected to rise from the current 70 million as the baby boom generation ages.

2. True, but joints may ache for several reasons. If the lining of the joint becomes inflamed, you may have rheumatoid arthritis. If the cushioning cartilage in the joint becomes damaged or worn away, you may have osteoarthritis or "wear and tear" arthritis.

3. False. There are interventions to prevent or reduce arthritis-related pain and disability. These interventions include early diagnosis, weight control, physical activity, physical and occupational therapy and joint replacement, when appropriate.

4. True. Post-traumatic arthritis can develop after an injury to the knee. This type of arthritis is similar to osteoarthritis and may develop years after a fracture or ligament injury in the knee.

5. True. Sudden onset of arthritis is possible, but, generally, the pain associated with arthritis develops gradually. The joint may become stiff and swollen, making it difficult to bend or straighten the knee. Pain and swelling are worse in the morning or after a period of inactivity. Pain also may increase after walking stair climbing or kneeling.

6. False. Researchers are making progress in finding the underlying causes for the major types of arthritis. In the meantime, orthopaedists, working with other physicians and scientists, have developed many effective treatments for arthritis.

7. True. However, arthritis can occur in other joints, too. For instance, arthritis at the base of the thumb is common. It occurs more in women than in men and usually after the age of 40.

8. False. Rheumatoid arthritis is not an inherited disease, although researchers believe that some people have genes that make them susceptible to the disease. People with these genes will not automatically develop rheumatoid arthritis.

9. True. However, research is underway to develop techniques to replace or "grow" cartilage in places where it has been worn away.

10. False. Regular exercise slows the loss of muscle mass, strengthens bones, and reduces joint and muscle pain. Inactivity can lead to weak muscles around the joint and result in joint instability.

Answers:
Multiple Choice

1. D. More than 100 diseases that affect joint areas are called arthritis.

2. E. All listed. Nearly all vertebrates can suffer from osteoarthritis.

3. E. All listed. See your doctor for a complete medical evaluation.

4. B. Your doctor will prescribe a treatment program that meets your needs.

5. B. 70 million. The number is approximately one in three people.

6. E. $125 billion. The cost of arthritis equals a moderate recession.

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