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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Do you experience aching in more than one joint? Are your joints stiff and swollen?

It could be rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the joints and causes painful swelling and stiffness.

Our doctors at Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin in Austin, TX, can diagnose and treat pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis? A Closer Look at A Debilitating Autoimmune Disease

Unlike arthritis caused by the natural wearing down of cartilage, rheumatoid arthritis is a condition in which the body's immune system attacks the soft tissue of your joints throughout your body, causing them to become inflamed and painful. Unlike other types of arthritis, RA is symmetrical (meaning it occurs in the same joints on both sides of the body), and typically affects the wrists, elbows, ankles, and knees.

What Are the Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, there will be times when your symptoms become worse, flare up, or when they get better, go into remission. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment at our Austin, TX, office:

Pain and Swelling in Multiple Joints

A Heat Sensation Around the Joints

Tenderness or Redness Around the Joints

Joint Stiffness Lasting Longer Than 30 Minutes

Joint Stiffness First-Thing in the Morning

Similar Pain in the Same Joint on Both Sides of the Body

Joint Weakness

Overall Fatigue

Stop Living With Joint Stiffness Contact the Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin Today

Rheumatoid arthritis is not curable, but it is treatable. With early diagnosis, our doctors in Austin, TX, can provide patients with treatments to manage their symptoms and prevent joint damage. Unlike rheumatologists, our experienced orthopaedic surgeons can provide any form of treatment, including surgery. If you are experiencing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, we can help to restore your comfort, mobility, and overall quality of life. Contact our Austin, TX, office to request a consultation.


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Austin, Texas, Chooses Us For Their Orthopedic Needs


Katie Pate


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Dr. Seade was always patient and treated my concerns as legitimate. I was in a rollover in 2020 and had shoulder pain and limited ROM, and after we tried conservative management, Dr. Seade went in and took care of the problem surgically. I have been recovering well so far and I can’t thank Dr. Seade and his team enough for their care over the last year. My career requires me to have use of my shoulders and I didn’t know what I was going to do if the pain or ROM never got better. Thank you, Dr. Seade and co. Thank you x like 1,000.

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Wendy Spencer


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Dr. Catlett is fantastic. Helped my Mother regain mobility by doing her desperately needed hip replacement surgery that other doctors told her would have to wait till she lost weight. He got her approved through her insurance and made it happen in less than a month. His caring and compassion demeanor is so wonderful and refreshing. Can't thank him enough. He is absolutely wonderful as a Surgeon and person!!

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What Is the Cause Of Rheumatoid Arthritis?


Rheumatoid arthritis is the result of an improper immune response in the body. The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, but some factors can put you at a greater risk of developing the disease.

What Puts Me at Risk Of Developing Rheumatoid Arthritis?


Rheumatoid arthritis can happen at any age, but it most commonly occurs between the ages of 30 and 60.


Rheumatoid arthritis is three times more common in women than in men. However, the disease is typically more severe in men.

Family History

If someone in your family has rheumatoid arthritis, you are more likely to develop the disease. 


Numerous studies have shown that smoking increases your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, it can make your symptoms more severe.

Diagnosing Rheumatoid Arthritis

You don't need to see a rheumatologist to diagnose and treat your rheumatoid arthritis. Our joint specialists in Austin, TX, are experienced at providing effective treatment for our patients suffering from the disease. Diagnosis requires:
It is best to start treatment as early as possible to slow or stop the progression of the disease.
It is best to start treatment as early as possible to slow or stop the progression of the disease.

Physical Examination

We will go over your symptoms and family history to determine if you are showing the signs of rheumatoid arthritis. We will also check your joints for swelling, redness, and heat. 


X-rays will be taken of your affected joints to see the extent of the disease. They may also be taken throughout your treatment to monitor the disease's progression.

Blood Tests

Blood tests will be taken to check for signs of rheumatoid arthritis, including the rheumatoid factor. Rheumatoid factors are the proteins that attack the healthy tissue in your joints, causing the symptoms of arthritis.

Why Our Doctors Are the Right Choice For Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

All of our doctors at our Austin, TX, practice are board-certified and fellowship-trained. Each one specializes in their specific area of focus. While generalists may only perform two joint-specific surgeries a year, ours perform several in one day. It is our mission to utilize the latest orthopaedic technology to provide the least invasive care possible while still maintaining effective results and rapid recovery. When you visit our Austin, TX, practice, you can be sure you are getting top-quality care. If you are tired of living in pain, call our Austin, TX, office to schedule your rheumatoid arthritis consultation.


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Austin, Texas, Loves Our Office


Loritta Bledsoe


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Dr cutlet took the time to explain the process of hip replacement and the robotics used He made my daughter and I very comfortable and confident with the procedure my daughter and granddaughter also will be having surgeries by these drs I would recommend them to anyone

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Richard Penn


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Dr. Gregory Catlett is the best hands down. You cannot find a better doctor for knee replacement. This doctor is a polished professional that can do what he says that he can do. You will not go wrong with Doctor Catlett. He is the best by far.

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The Treatment Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

There is no need to see a rheumatologist for your joint pain. Our board-certified doctors specialize in joint complications and are able to design a personalized treatment plan to help you manage your symptoms in accordance with your daily needs. Solutions include:


Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) may be prescribed to slow the disease and prevent further joint damage. These disease-modifying drugs have been shown to change the course of the disease, unlike NSAIDs. Biological response modifiers may be a second option. These drugs modify your immune response so your body will no longer attack your healthy tissue.



Physical or occupational therapy may be recommended for people suffering with rheumatoid arthritis. Your therapist will develop an exercise treatment plan to help keep your joints mobile and flexible. They can also teach you at-home exercises and some new ways to perform daily activities to alleviate stress on your joints.



Certain tools can sometimes make daily life easier for someone suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Gripping devices, or everyday utensils with longer handles can make doing daily chores less painful.



One of the benefits of seeing our orthopedic specialists over a rheumatologist is we can provide all forms of treatments, including surgery. For patients who have already suffered joint damage or are experiencing more severe complications, we can expertly perform endoscopic surgery to make corrections. Surgeries that might be needed include tendon repair, joint fusion, synovectomy, or a total joint replacement. 

Minimally Invasive Treatment


Surgery is always our last recommendation. When no other treatment has worked or when your issues are too severe, only then will we discuss surgery as a treatment option.

The Complications  Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Without a doctor's care, rheumatoid arthritis can lead to more severe, debilitating health issues. It is important to see a doctor for treatment so they can monitor the progression of the disease and ensure they are preventing further complications like:


Rheumatoid arthritis and certain medications used to treat the disease can lead to osteoporosis, which can cause bone fractures and further joint issues.

Rheumatoid Nodules

Rheumatoid nodules are subcutaneous lumps that typically form around the affected joint but can form anywhere in the body, including the heart and lungs.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

People who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis in the wrists are at a greater risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome, because it can constrict the nerve going into your hand.


Rheumatoid arthritis and the medications used to combat the disease can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections and illness.


Amber Griffin


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I personally have gone through multiple surgeries with Dr. Heinrich and he is amazing. Another doc in Austin had destroyed my hip and his last words were to me " you need a replacement but your too young even though you are still in pain". I was 27 and barely able to walk into work and my quality of life was not good. Dr. Heinrich listened and had more imaging done and was able to determine that I needed a replacement Over a year and half later I am doing amazing and love this practice enough to refer my husband who hurt his leg and knee. Dr. Catlett is great and getting you in asap and addressing concerns and making sure that you are taken care of! I would not go anywhere else for my ortho needs.

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Angelica Rangel Faz


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The staff was beyond friendly I injured myself on Sunday and I could not believe the doctor was able to see me yesterday just a few days afterwards. Everyone's walking around with a smile on their face so you know their love their job which is very important when you're not feeling good last thing you want is someone being :-( or grumpy when they're working on you. Dr. Vagner was very straightforward and informative although I walked out still a some pain because of my injury the stress of it all was relieved knowing what to expect and the way he explained everything.

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Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin

At Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin, we have a team of board-certified specialists who can treat a wide range of conditions. Our specialists use the most advanced techniques to provide minimally invasive treatment options.

For more information about our services, contact our office online or call (512) 476-2830 today.

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