Does Joint Stiffness Mean I Have Arthritis
Joint stiffness is obviously an indicator in various types of arthritis. However, morning stiffness does not always mean that you have arthritis. It is crucial to know the signs and symptoms other than just joint stiffness that go along with the three types of arthritis rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.
In particular, take note of when and how often joint pain and stiffness occurs. If it doesnt seem to have a specific trigger and happens more often than not, then it may be time to see a physician to discuss the possibility of testing for arthritis. However, joint pain and stiffness after intense activity is not necessarily a sign of any illness.
Causes Of Swelling In Legs Hands & Feet
Tissues in the body may trap excessive fluid and cause swelling, which is referred to as edema. Individuals commonly notice this swelling in the hands, feet, ankles and legs, according to MayoClinic.com 3. Small amounts of swelling are normal and usually resolve spontaneously. A variety of medical conditions may cause edema identifying and treating the underlying condition is essential to controlling it.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Trumbull Regional Medical Center
With 346 beds, the skilled staff at Trumbull Regional Medical Center has been providing quality care for over a century. Trumbull Regional Medical Center serves the health care needs of residents in the Mahoning Valley. Trumbull Regional Medical Center offers a vast scope of inpatient and outpatient medical and surgical services from emergency, cardiac and critical care to orthopedic, and other diagnostic and therapeutic services.
A designated Level III Trauma Center the hospital also has achieved Chest Pain v6 accreditation, which is the highest level accreditation from the American College of Cardiology.
Awards & Accreditation
Trumbull Regional Medical Center is also the first hospital to receive The Joint Commissions Gold Seal of Approval for advanced certification in total hip and total knee replacement procedures. This certification is for Joint Commission-accredited hospitals seeking to evaluate the quality, consistency, and safety of their patient care and services. In addition, the hospital is a designated Blue Distinction Center+ Cardiac Care and Knee and Hip Replacement by Blue Cross/Blue Shield is recognized by the American Diabetes Association for the outpatient diabetes educational program and received The Joint Commissions Gold Seal of Approval for advanced certification in the inpatient diabetes program.
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Lower Leg Swelling And Discoloration
Lower leg swelling may affect your calf, ankle, toes, or foot, and this could be due to a number of different causes. Some of these causes are not that serious, such as discoloration caused by bruises. However, you may require medical treatment for certain problems, such as venous insufficiency or venous hypertension that can cause lower leg swelling. You usually need no treatment when the discoloration is on a small area and is caused by bruises, but you should see your doctor if discoloration covers a larger area of the calf, ankle, or foot. Let’s find out more about the causes of swelling with some treatment options.
Common Causes Of Swollen Ankles Feet And Legs
Swelling in the ankles, feet and legs is often caused by a build-up of fluid in these areas, called oedema.
Oedema is usually caused by:
- standing or sitting in the same position for too long
- eating too much salty food
- being overweight
- taking certain medicines such as some blood pressure medicines, contraceptive pills, antidepressants or steroids
Oedema can also be caused by:
- problems with your kidneys, liver or heart
- a blood clot
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How Is Joint Swelling Treated
Your doctors recommended treatment plan will depend on the underlying cause of your symptoms.
If your joint swelling occurred following an injury, simple at-home treatments can help relieve your symptoms. Apply ice or a cold pack, wrapped in a cloth, to the affected joint for up to 10 minutes at a time to bring down the swelling.
Apply compression to the joint using an elastic bandage or wrap. Elevate the joint when youre resting, preferably to a point higher than your heart. Consider taking over-the-counter pain medications to relieve discomfort.
Your doctor may also encourage you to avoid moving or putting weight on the injured joint for a period of time. Ask them how long you should wait before you start using it again.
While its important to give your body time to heal, immobilizing the joint for too long can cause your muscle strength and range of motion to deteriorate.
If youre diagnosed with a chronic condition, such as osteoarthritis or lupus, follow your doctors recommended treatment plan. They may recommend medications, physical therapy, or other treatments to help relieve your symptoms and maintain the health of your joint.
Is Leg Swelling Serious
Swelling in your legs may be a sign of another serious health problem.
Here are a few things to look out for:
Rapid onset of swelling in one or both legs is concerning for a deep vein thrombosis. Emergent evaluation is needed to prevent the life-threatening complication of a pulmonary embolism, where the blood clot breaks off and goes to the lungs.
Redness, warmth, skin ulceration, leg pain, or fever with a swollen leg should be checked for infection and blood clot.
Rapid onset of swelling in both legs suggests a body system isnt working well most commonly, the heart, kidneys, thyroid, or liver.
Large amounts of swelling in one or both legs raises concerns for blockage by a blood clot or a tumor.
Swelling associated with other concerning symptoms like chest pain, palpitations , dizziness, weakness, confusion, or shortness of breath may be related to a pulmonary embolism or other serious heart, kidney, liver, or thyroid problems.
Extreme leg pain, especially in a swollen leg that looks pale or feels numb or weak, is concerning for compartment syndrome, where swelling cuts off circulation to the leg. In these cases, emergent medical attention is required to save the limb.
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Common Causes Of Foot Leg And Ankle Swelling
There are many potential causes of foot, leg, and ankle swelling. In most cases, swelling occurs as a result of certain lifestyle factors, such as:
- Being overweight. Excess body mass can decrease blood circulation, causing fluid to build up in the feet, legs, and ankles.
- Standing or sitting for long periods. When the muscles are inactive, they cant pump body fluids back up toward the heart. The retention of water and blood can cause swelling in the legs.
Foot, leg, and ankle swelling can also occur while taking particular medications, such as:
- some antidepressants, including tricyclics and monoamine oxidase inhibitors
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , including ibuprofen and aspirin
These types of medications can lead to water retention, causing swelling in the legs.
Make sure to talk to your doctor if you suspect that your medication is causing swelling in your lower extremities. Dont stop taking your medication until you speak with your doctor.
Other possible causes for foot, leg, and ankle swelling include certain medical conditions or body changes, such as:
When Should You Call The Doctor For A Knee Injury
Emergent medical care should be sought if, due to injury,
- there is almost immediate swelling in the knee,
- if the bones appear deformed,
- if there is inability to bear weight,
- if the pain is intolerable,
- if there is loss of sensation below the injury site,
- if the foot and ankle turn cold and no pulses can be felt.
Medical care should be considered if a knee injury does not resolve with routine home care, including rest, ice, compression, and elevation . Other symptoms that may suggest the need for medical care include recurrent pain and swelling.
A swollen joint is never normal, and if it is red and warm or if there is an associated fever, more urgent medical attention should be accessed because of the worry of infection being present. This is particularly a warning sign in infants and children, people who have had knee joint replacements, intravenous drug abusers, and those who have compromised immune systems.
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Pain Swelling And Knee Stiffness
First lets talk about pain: Its the bodys way of preventing you from making an injury worse. Since pain may limit movement, it can cause stiffness in the knees, as can any ongoing injury.
Knees become swollen when excess fluid builds up inside the knee due to an injury, overuse, or medical condition. This can cause sensations of tightness as well as pain. Swelling may be subtle, so you may not always notice it unless its a severe injury. Since the swelling may not be visible, you may feel this as stiffness in the knee.
Any type of swelling will cause limited movement since theres less space in the knee. Irritation, internal bleeding, and injuries in the knee can lead to fluid buildup. Arthritis, gout, and tumors or cysts are conditions that can also cause swelling.
Pain and swelling are two mechanisms your body uses to protect itself. Together they can lead to stiffness in your knee. Next, lets look at possible causes.
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Can Surgery Be Used To Treat Heart Failure
In heart failure, surgery may sometimes prevent further damage to the heart and improve the heart’s function. Procedures used include:
- Coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. The most common surgery for heart failure caused by coronary artery disease is . Although surgery is more risky for people with heart failure, new strategies before, during, and after surgery have reduced the risks and improved outcomes.
- Heart valve surgery. Diseased heart valves can be treated both surgically and non-surgically .
- Implantable left ventricular assist device . The LVAD is known as the “bridge to transplantation” for patients who haven’t responded to other treatments and are hospitalized with severe systolic heart failure. This device helps your heart pump blood throughout your body. It allows you to be mobile, sometimes returning home to await a heart transplant. It may also be used as destination therapy for long-term support in patients who are not eligible for transplant.
- Heart transplant. A heart transplant is considered when heart failure is so severe that it doesn’t respond to all other therapies, but the person’s health is otherwise good.
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Are There Any Other Symptoms
In addition to the leg or legs being swollen, there may be other associated symptoms. Again, these help give a clue to the cause of the leg swelling. For example:
- Breathlessness which started at the same time as the leg swelling might suggest heart failure or DVT spreading to the lungs .
- A high temperature suggests some type of infection.
- Tiredness might suggest a more general illness, such as anaemia or kidney problems.
- Diarrhoea might suggest a gut problem affecting the amount of protein being absorbed in the guts.
- Being yellow suggests a liver problem, such as cirrhosis.
- Swelling in other places other than the legs – for example, in the tummy, hands or around the eyes. This would suggest a problem with another or a general body system rather than a problem with the leg or legs.
Evaluation Of Pain In Many Joints
In evaluating joint pain, doctors first try to decide whether joint pain is caused by a disorder of the joints or a serious bodywide illness. Serious bodywide disorders may need specific immediate treatment. The following information can help people decide when to see a doctor and know what to expect during the evaluation.
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What Is The Treatment For Swollen Legs
Treatment will be different depending on the cause. If the cause is fluid in the legs , this can often be relieved in the short term by taking tablets called ‘water tablets’ . Diuretics increase the amount of fluid that the kidney filters off to be passed in your wee . So when you take diuretics you eventually pee away some of the fluid which was collecting around your legs.
However, diuretics are not used for many causes of swollen legs. A few examples of some treatments of some common causes are as follows.
- Skin infections or bone infections are treated with antibiotics
- Where the cause is a medicine, that medicine can usually be changed, or stopped, or the dose reduced.
Can Knee Pain Radiate Up Leg
When you have sciatica, you may experience the following knee symptoms:
In the front, sides, or back of the knee, a hot sensation, sharp pain, or dull ache may be felt. A person may also experience Having difficulty bearing weight on ones knee.
Knee weakness, especially when trying to straighten the leg, is also a common symptom of sciatica.
If you suffer from sciatica, you may also suffer from knee pain, buttock, thigh, calf muscles, and foot pain. Most frequently, sciatica pain will only affect one leg at a time, so pain in both knees is rare in this case.
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Common Causes Of Leg Swelling Over A Longer Period Of Time
Lets say that your leg swelling didnt come on all of a sudden. Instead, it has been developing gradually over a longer period of time .
Here are a few things to consider as possible causes:
|One leg||Both Legs|
|Damaged veins or lymphatic vessels. This can happen with an old leg injury. A blood clot can also damage vessels leading to leg swelling known as postthrombotic syndrome. A mass or tumor compressing vessels of one leg. As a mass or tumor grows, it can obstruct blood or lymph flow through veins and lymphatic vessels, and you may see swelling worsen over time.||Slow worsening of medical problems likeheart failure, liver, kidney, or thyroid disease. Damaged veins or lympathics|
Acute Kidney Failure Diagnosis
Your doctor will start with a physical exam. Then, theyâll order tests of your blood, urine, and kidneys.
Blood tests. These measure substances in your blood.
- Creatinine is a waste product in your blood thatâs made by muscle activity. Normally, itâs removed from your blood by your kidneys. But if your kidneys stop working, your creatinine level rises.
- Urea nitrogen is another waste product in your blood. Itâs created when protein from the foods is broken down. Like creatinine, your kidneys remove this from your blood. When your kidneys stop working, your urea nitrogen levels rise.
- Serum potassium is a substance found in your blood that balances water levels in your bloodstream. Kidney disease can cause either high or low potassium levels.
- Serum sodium is another substance in your blood that helps with fluid balance in your body. High sodium levels can mean that your kidneys arenât working properly because your body canât get rid of the right amount of sodium.
Urine tests. Your doctor will check your pee for blood and protein. Theyâll also look for certain electrolytes. The results help your doctor understand whatâs causing your kidney failure.
Urine output measurement. This measures how much urine you pass in 24 hours. You will get a container to take home, pee into, and then return to the lab after a full 24 hours. It can help your doctor determine why youâre having kidney failure.
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Sitting Or Standing For Long Periods
Individuals that maintain a sedentary lifestyle or are required to remain stationary or standing at their job for extended periods may be at increased risk for leg swelling. When you sit or stand for extended periods, the blood begins to pool in your lower extremities, increasing pressure on your veins, which can lead to leg swelling.
Causes Of Chronic Swelling Of One Leg
Sometimes it is obvious that the swelling is chronic. For instance, someone is born with one leg larger than the other. But, perhaps surprisingly, sometimes it is hard to know. Many chronic conditions can go unnoticed and then suddenly become apparent. Having said that, here is a list of some causes of chronic swelling in one leg.
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Damage To The Cartilage At The Back Of The Kneecap
Knee pain that feels worse when you go up or down stairs could be a sign of a damaged kneecap, called chondromalacia patellae.
This should not cause any redness or heat around the knee.
The cause is not understood, but it can be linked to overuse of the knee.
You can treat this problem yourself with anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen, an icepack and rest.
Are There Any Complications That Can Develop
If a Bakers cyst ruptures, it can be quite difficult to tell the difference between the ruptured cyst and a deep vein thrombosis in the leg. A DVT is a blood clot that forms in a leg vein. In these cases, it is important that investigations are carried out to exclude a DVT because it can be a serious condition that needs treatment. See the separate leaflet called Deep Vein Thrombosis for more detail.
Very rarely, a Bakers cyst may become infected.
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How Are Knee Problems Diagnosed
In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, other tests for knee problems may include:
X-ray. This test uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to make images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
Magnetic resonance imaging . This test uses large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to make detailed images of organs and structures within the body can often determine damage or disease in a surrounding ligament or muscle.
Computed tomography scan . This test uses X-rays and computer technology to make horizontal, or axial, images of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.
Arthroscopy. A minimally-invasive diagnostic and treatment procedure used for conditions of a joint. This procedure uses a small, lighted, optic tube , which is inserted into the joint through a small incision in the joint. Images of the inside of the joint are projected onto a screen used to evaluate any degenerative or arthritic changes in the joint to detect bone diseases and tumors to determine the cause of bone pain and inflammation.
Radionuclide bone scan. A nuclear imaging technique that uses a very small amount of radioactive material, which is injected into the patientâs bloodstream to be detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone.
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