Find out what living with rheumatoid arthritis really feels like.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that can affect joints throughout the body as well as cause damage to the eyes, heart, skin, and blood vessels. There are different types of arthritis, and here at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Dr. Jeffrey Chase offers different ways to treat your arthritis depending on the type and severity. Here are the warning signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA),
- Stiffness: One of the most common symptoms of RA, this stiffness can make you feel as if the joints aren’t as easily mobile as they used to be, especially in the morning. As you begin to move around in the morning, you may notice the joints loosening up a bit within a couple of hours.
- Swelling: Fluid accumulation within the joints can also lead to puffiness, swelling, and tenderness in and around the joints.
- Pain: Inflamed joints can really hurt, even when you’re not in motion.
- Warmth: It’s also natural for affected joints to be red and warm to the touch due to inflammation.
These symptoms most commonly occur in the joints of the hands; however, RA can also affect the:
Symptoms are often symmetrical, meaning that they affect the same joints on both sides of the body. Along with joint problems, you may also experience muscle aches, fatigue, and depression. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of RA, it’s important that you turn to our Saint Thomas orthopedic doctor for an immediate consultation. Since symptoms usually appear gradually over time, it’s natural for you to not immediately notice symptoms until you’ve possibly had RA for a year or more.
How is RA diagnosed?
When you come in for an evaluation, blood tests and x-rays may be performed to check for the presence of an autoimmune disorder and joint damage. Since symptoms often come and go, you may not be experiencing a flare-up during your consultation. That’s okay; we can still ask you questions about the symptoms you are experiencing and perform the proper tests to rule out other disorders and illnesses that can mirror symptoms of RA.
Need care? Give us a call
Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine has offices in St. Croix and St. Thomas to ensure that the care you receive is never far away. If you are experiencing signs of rheumatoid arthritis, call one of our offices today for a comprehensive evaluation. For St. Croix, dial (340) 692-5000, and for St. Thomas, dial (340) 714-2845.
Your knee is a more complex joint than you may realize. And, when it hurts, you notice it and how it affects your mobility. At Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in Saint Thomas and St. Croix, Dr. Jeffrey Chase is the expert to see for diagnosis, treatment and healing of your knee pain.
What's the source of your knee pain?
There are a wide variety of factors that cause knee pain--age, injury, arthritis, cystic conditions, worn/torn cartilage, and more. Trauma or a disease process can precipitate these conditions, affecting the knee cap, or platella, upper and lower leg bones, as well as the ligaments and tendons which support and move them.
Common sense says knee pain is not normal. If you have trouble bearing weight on your knee, see swelling or signs of infection, or notice your knee has a different shape than it usually does, contact Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in Saint Thomas or St. Croix.
Expect a thorough diagnostic work-up. Tell Dr. Chase about the timing, severity, and location of your knee pain and whatever may worsen or relieve it. He will examine your knee and how you walk and also take a series of X-rays and other tests such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging and/or ultrasound to view the softer tissues of the joint. From there, he can plan treatment.
Treating knee pain
Your treatment plan encompasses several treatment modalities. Some, you likely know:
- Ice to reduce swelling
- Compression and support with an elastic bandage
- Elevation above heart level
Additionally, whether you need surgery or not (arthroscopy or knee joint replacement as examples), physical therapy is important to restore balance, strength, and full mobility. Dr. Chase agrees with the American Academy of Orthopeadic Surgeons which highly recommends a knee strengthening and conditioning regimen as part of your treatment for knee pain.
Preventing knee pain
Here are some tips on keeping your knees functional and healthy:
- Maintain your ideal weight.
- Stretch before you work out, and be sure to keep yourself in good overall physical condition (in other words, stay as active as possible).
- Rest, ice, and elevate after a strenuous workout even if you are not in pain.
- Wear proper knee pads and shoes as appropriate to your sport or work activity.
Always seek good advice
At Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists, the professional team enjoys seeing people feel better and be completely rehabilitated from the cause of their knee pain and dysfunction. For more information on our various specialties, or if you are in pain, call either of our two offices for a consultation. In St. Croix, phone (340) 692-5000. In Saint Thomas, call (340) 714-2845.
Have you been diagnosed with heart disease? If so, you need to know your treatment options. Here at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St. Thomas and St. Croix, your cardiologist, Dr. Ahmet Sayan, can help outline what you need to stay healthy for life. Read on to learn more.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that the number of people in the United States suffering from the effects of heart disease is staggering. In fact, this condition is the leading cause of death for both women and men, with coronary artery disease alone taking the lives of about 370,000 adults annually.
These numbers concern the professional team at Virgin Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists. In our offices in St. Thomas and St. Croix, Dr. Sayan carefully screens his patients for symptoms of heart disease, and when the condition is suspected, a state-of-the-art screening is performed.
Types of heart disease and treatment options
Heart disease includes congenital and acquired malformations (including the heart valves), problems with its electrical system (arrhythmias), high blood pressure, heart attack, congestive heart failure, and, most commonly, cardiovascular disease. To pinpoint exactly which heart condition a patient has, Dr. Sayan carefully reviews one's symptoms, past/current medical problems, hereditary factors, medications, and more.
Following this review, your doctor may recommend a diagnostic test, such as:
- Blood work (specific for cholesterol levels and cardiac enzymes)
- Angiography (X-ray imaging of the heart)
- Stress tests (to note the operation of the heart during strenuous physical activity)
Depending on the results of your tests, Dr. Sayan will comprise a treatment plan specific to your issue, lifestyle, age, and other factors. Interventions may include:
- Lifestyle changes (e.g. exercise, heart-healthy diet, stress reduction, and smoking cessation)
- Weight reduction
- Medications to control blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels in the bloodstream
- Surgery to correct defects or place pacemakers/defibrillators
Be proactive about heart health
Dr. Ahmet Sayan and the friendly team at Virgin Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists urge their patients to seek out healthy preventive and treatment options. Let them help you by scheduling your heart check-up today at either of our two locations. For St. Thomas, phone (340) 714-2845, or for the St. Croix office, call (340) 692-5000.
How your doctors in St. Thomas and St. Croix can help your high blood pressure
Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, is caused when the blood flowing through your arteries is slowed down or blocked by resistance from narrowed artery walls. Caused by fatty plaque deposits due to high cholesterol and other related factors, hypertension is a silent killer because it can go undetected for years without causing any signs or symptoms. Fortunately, the doctors here at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists offer a wide range of medical services, including the discovery, management, and treatment of hypertension. With convenient office locations in both St. Thomas and St. Croix, read on to learn if you could benefit from our hypertension treatment.
Do you have hypertension?
One of the most important signs of hypertension is a high blood pressure reading. A normal reading for a healthy adult is around 120/80, and a reading that exceeds these numbers may indicate hypertension. However, it’s important not to solely rely on a single blood pressure reading, because this number can be affected by stress, activity, and other factors.
In addition to blood pressure measurement, you may also experience these signs and symptoms:
- Facial flushing
- Blood spots in your eyes
Many people who have hypertension also complain of headaches or nosebleeds, however, these symptoms may also be caused by conditions other than hypertension.
How we can help
If you have been experiencing the above symptoms, make sure to schedule an appointment at one of our offices. After all, uncontrolled hypertension can shorten your life!
During a consultation, your doctor can definitively determine whether or not you have hypertension, and if the results are positive, the condition can be treated with medications, including:
- Diuretics, to help you eliminate excess water in your tissues
- Beta-blockers, to open blood vessels and reduce how hard your heart has to work
- ACE inhibitors, to relax blood vessels
- Calcium channel blockers, to relax blood vessels and decrease your heart rate
Concerned? Contact us
To find out more about hypertension causes, signs, and treatment, call the doctors here at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists, with offices in St. Thomas and St. Croix. Dial (340) 714-2845 for the St. Thomas office, or (340) 692-5000 for the St. Croix office.
How do you know you are at risk for a heart attack?
Cardiologist Dr. Ahmet Sayan of DBA Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists, can identify subtle signs that may indicate heart issues and recommends treatment options at his St. Thomas and St. Croix office.
When should you visit your cardiologist in St. Thomas and St. Croix and when are you at risk for a heart attack?
- If you're experiencing chest pain or discomfort, then you may want to speak with your doctor. Chest pain mimics heartburn, noticeable during exercise and severe chest pain may result in nausea, vomiting, pain that extends to your arms, jaw, neck, or shoulders. Call 911 immediately if you have these symptoms.
- Feeling fatigued, especially during the workweek or due to a recent illness, may make you feel more tired. Visit your cardiologist if you feel very tired, weak, or dizzy for no obvious reason.
- If you have a family history of heart disease, your cardiologist needs to evaluate your heart disease risk.
- Contact your cardiologist if you suffer from certain chronic health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and high cholesterol.
- Smokers have an increased risk of developing cancer and heart disease.
- If you start noticing shortness of breath or palpitations, this can be a sign of several heart conditions.
More About Chronic Diseases:
High Blood Pressure: As mentioned above, if you suffer from long-term high blood pressure, contact your cardiologist for specific prescription medication to lower your blood pressure.
Heart Palpitations: This leads to shortness of breath, dizziness, or anxiety, especially if the heart palpitations occur regularly.
High Cholesterol: This condition leads to arteriel plaque buildup which increases the risk of heart attack. Medicine, regular exercise and a healthy diet can keep cholesterol under control.
If it’s time to schedule a cardiologist, then call DBA Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St. Thomas and St. Croix today!
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.