Taking note of which joints are spared in each form of arthritis is also helpful.
Which of your joints are painful and inflamed?
Here is a list to help you learn more about the different joints involved in each of the different types of arthritis. Identifying the joints involved will help a doctor to make the correct diagnosis.
Take a look at our graphic showing the joints involved in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
Distribution of joint involvement in arthritis
|Disease||Joints commonly involved||Joints commonly spared|
|Gonococcal arthritis||knee, wrist, ankle, hand IP||axial|
|Lyme arthritis||knee, shoulder, wrist, elbow||axial|
|Rheumatoid arthritis||wrist, MCP, PIP, elbow, glenohumeral, cervical spine, hip, knee, ankle, tarsal, MTP||DIP, thoracolumbar spine|
|Osteoarthritis||first CMC, CIP, PIP, cervical spine, thora-columbar spine, hip, knee, first MTP, toe IP||MCP, wrist, elbow, glenohumeral, ankle, tarsal |
|Reiter's syndrome||knee, ankle, tarsal, MTP, toe IP, elbow, axial|| |
|Psoriatic arthritis||knee, ankle, MTP, toe IP, wrist, MCP, hand IP, axial|| |
|Enteropathic arthritis||knee, ankle, elbow, shoulder, MCP, PIP, wrist, axial|| |
|Polyarticular gout||first MTP, instep, heel, ankle, knee||axial|
|CPPD disease||knee, wrist, shoulder, ankle, MCP, hand IP, hip, elbow||axial|
|Sarcoid arthritis||ankle, knee||axial|
|Haemochromatosis||MCP, wrist, knee, hip, feet, shoulder|| |
Joints: IP, interphalangeal; MCP, metacarpophalangeal; PIP, proximal interphalangeal; CMC, carpometacarpal; DIP, distal interphalangeal; MTP, metatarsophalangeal.
- (Source: Arthritis Foundation of SA)
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