Osteoarthritis vs. rheumatoid arthritis (OA vs. RA) nursing lecture about the symptoms, pathophysiology, treatment, and nursing interventions for the NCLEX exam.
Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are both forms of arthritis that affect the joints but in different ways.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that develops due to the deterioration of the articular cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation of the synovium within the joint space. In severe cases of RA, the patient can experience bone fusion (ankylosis).
Osteoarthritis vs rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include:
OA: crepitus, bony outgrowths (Heberden and Bouchard’s Nodes which are found on the hands..see pictures in video), joints will feel hard, bony, morning stiffness LESS than 30 minutes, only affects joints (not other systems of the body), and is unsymmetrical.
RA: morning stiffness GREATER than 30 minutes, soft, warm, swollen joints, affects joints symmetrically and other systems of the body (fever, anemia, heart, lungs etc.)
Treatment for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis include: NSAIDs, tylenol, physical exercise (low-impact exercises, range of motion, wearing-bearing), assistive devices, heat and cold therapy, corticosteriods (oral for RA and intra-arthritic injections in OA).
In severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs) may be used, and these medications suppress the immune system from attacking the joint along with helping slow down the destruction of the disease on the joints and bones.
Quiz on OA vs RA:
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