b. Signs and symptoms of early stage rheumatoid arthritis are:
Paresthesia (burning, prickling sensation).
Warm, swollen, and painful joints.
Mild to moderate pain.
c. Signs and symptoms of late stage rheumatoid arthritis are:
Joint stiffness, especially in the morning.
Muscular atrophy around the affected joint, leading to deformity.
(4) Multiple organ involvement (pericarditis, osteoporosis, anemia,
subcutaneous nodules, vasculitis, neuropathy, fibrotic lung disease).
d. Buffered or enteric coated aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
are given to decrease the inflammation that is causing the pain and destruction of the
joint. If conservative treatment fails, adrenocortico-steroid drugs are given. Treatment
will not reverse the structural damage incurred.
e. Nursing care implications include administering anti-inflammatory drugs as
prescribed, providing hot or cold applications as ordered, assisting the patient with
exercises, properly positioning the patient with pillows or sandbags to prevent and
correct contracture deformities, and educating the patient regarding the disease.
a. Osteoarthritis is the most common of all joint diseases. It is also known as
degenerative joint disease. It is a slow, progressive thinning of the joint cartilage that
exposes underlying bone to pressure, abrasion and erosion. Unlike rheumatoid
arthritis, degenerative joint disease has no remissions and no systemic symptoms such
as malaise and fever. Although the exact cause is not known, there appears to be an
underlying metabolic abnormality of cartilage. The following predisposing factors are