Psoriatic arthritis
St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Senior's Center

Psoriatic arthritis

Definition

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that often occurs with psoriasis of the skin.

Alternative Names

Arthritis - psoriatic

Causes

Psoriasis is a common, chronic skin condition that causes red patches on the body. About 1 in 20 people with psoriasis will develop arthritis with the skin condition. In most cases, psoriasis comes before the arthritis.

The cause of psoriatic arthritis is not known, but genes may play a role.

Symptoms

The arthritis may be mild and involve only a few joints, especially those at the end of the fingers or toes.

In some people the disease may be severe and affect many joints, including the spine. When the spine is affected, the symptoms are stiffness, burning, and pain, most often in the lower spine and sacrum.

People who also have arthritis usually have the skin and nail changes of psoriasis. Often, the skin gets worse at the same time as the arthritis.

Exams and Tests

During a physical exam, the health care provider will look for:

  • Joint swelling
  • Skin patches (psoriasis) and pitting in the nails
  • Tenderness

Joint x-rays may be done.

Treatment

Your doctor may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to reduce pain and swelling of the joints.

More severe arthritis needs to be treated with more powerful drugs called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), such as:

  • Leflunomide
  • Methotrexate
  • Sulfasalazine

New medications that block an inflammatory protein called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) are becoming the treatment of choice for psoriatic arthritis. These include:

  • Adalimumab (Humira)
  • Certolizumab (Cimzia)
  • Etanercept (Enbrel)
  • Golimumab (Simponi)
  • Infliximab (Remicade)

Sometimes, very painful joints may be injected with steroid medications.

In rare cases, patients need surgery to repair or replace damaged joints.

Your doctor may suggest a healthy mix of rest and exercise. Physical therapy may help increase the movement of specific joints. You may also use heat and cold therapy.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The disease is often mild and affects only a few joints. A few people will have severe psoriatic arthritis in their hands, feet, and spine that causes deformities.

In people with severe arthritis, treatment can still relieve pain and prevent joint destruction, especially if it is started early.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if arthritis symptoms develop along with psoriasis.

References

Husni ME. Psoriatic arthritis. In: Carey WD, ed. Cleveland Clinic: Current Clinical Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010.

Review Date: 6/15/2012
Reviewed By: Ariel D. Teitel, MD, MBA, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


Back  |  Top
About Us
Contact Us
History
Mission
Locations & Directions
Quality Reports
Annual Reports
Honors & Awards
Community Health Needs
Assessment

Newsroom
Services
Brain & Spine
Cancer
Heart
Maternity
Orthopedics
Pulmonary
Sleep Medicine
Urgent Care
Women's Services
All Services
Patients & Visitors
Locations & Directions
Find a Physician
Tour St. Luke's
Patient & Visitor Information
Contact Us
Payment Options
Financial Assistance
Send a Card
Mammogram Appointments
Health Tools
My Personal Health
mystlukes
Spirit of Women
Health Information & Tools
Clinical Trials
Health Risk Assessments
Employer Programs -
Passport to Wellness

Classes & Events
Classes & Events
Spirit of Women
Donate & Volunteer
Giving Opportunities
Volunteer
Physicians & Employees
For Physicians
Remote Access
Medical Residency Information
Pharmacy Residency Information
Physician CPOE Training
Careers
Careers
St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile