(Arthritis, Psoriatic; PsA)
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Psoriatic arthritis is a disorder of the joints. It results in pain, stiffness, and swelling of the joints and the ligaments and tendons around them.
Psoriatic arthritis is caused by a problem with the immune system. It beings to attack healthy tissue. It is not known why this happens. Genes and the environment may play a role.
This problem is most common in people who are 30 to 50 years of age. It is also more common in people who have psoriasis. However, not everyone with psoriasis will get this problem.
Other things that may raise the risk are:
Problems may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
Blood tests will be done to rule out rheumatoid arthritis.
Images of the joints may be taken to confirm the diagnosis. This can be done with:
There is no cure. The goal of treatment is to manage symptoms and slow joint damage. Options are:
People who are not helped by these methods may need surgery. It may be done to repair or replace a damaged joint.
There are no current guidelines to prevent this health problem.
National Psoriasis Foundation
The Arthritis Society
Canadian Rheumatology Association
About psoriatic arthritis. National Psoriasis Foundation website. Available at: https://www.psoriasis.org/psoriatic-arthritis. Accessed February 11, 2021.
Psoriatic arthritis. Arthritis Foundation website. Available at:
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Accessed February 11, 2021.
Psoriatic arthritis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/psoriatic-arthritis. Accessed February 11, 2021.
Ritchlin CT, Colbert RA, et al. Psoriatic Arthritis. N Engl J Med. 2017 Mar 9;376(10):957-970.
Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD
Last Updated: 2/11/2021
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