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Psoriatic Arthritis

Schwartzman Rheumatology

Sergio Schwartzman, MD

Rheumatologist located in Upper East Side, New York, NY

Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that generally involves both psoriasis, a skin condition, joint inflammation, and pain. At his practice located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, world-leading rheumatologist Sergio Schwartzman, MD, has exceptional experience and knowledge in treating patients who have psoriatic arthritis. Dr. Schwartzman is also a clinical associate professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Call the New York City office today to schedule a consultation.

Psoriatic Arthritis Q & A

What is psoriatic arthritis?

Psoriasis is a red, scaly skin rash that usually precedes psoriatic arthritis.  As many as one-third of patients with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis.  

Psoriatic arthritis can develop in one or many joints and can affect the spine.

Tendinitis or enthesitis — tenderness in the areas where ligaments and tendons attach to bones and joints can also occur in this disease.  This can cause pain in the sole of your foot, the back of your heel, and around your elbows, and is a common symptom of psoriatic arthritis.

How is psoriatic arthritis diagnosed?

There is not a single diagnostic test for psoriatic arthritis, but Dr. Schwartzman has considerable expertise in looking for the signs and symptoms, and there are a number of tests that aid in the diagnosis of this condition.

Generally, a history and physical exam are very helpful and diagnostic imaging techniques like X-rays, MRIs, and ultrasounds. Some laboratory tests aid in establishing the diagnosis. There are other potential illnesses with similar symptoms, such as other forms of arthritis like osteoarthritis, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis, and these can sometimes obscure the diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis. 

How is psoriatic arthritis treated?

The therapy for this disease has dramatically improved over the last 10-20 years and there are multiple treatment options.  

The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis vary a great deal among patients. Many people experience only mild effects or have periods where their joint pain improves to a degree they don’t need to receive treatment. For many patients, the disease progresses and therefore requires more aggressive therapies.

Choice of therapy is very dependent on individual patient manifestations and include the following therapies:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents
  • Methotrexate
  • Leflunomide
  • Sulfasalazine
  • TNF (tumor necrosis factor) inhibitors
  • Secukinumab
  • Ixekizumab
  • Tofacitinib
  • Apremilast
  • Ustekinumab
  • Abatacept

Badly swollen joints can benefit from injections of corticosteroid medication as well, and in some cases, surgery could be an option to repair or replace severely affected joints.

Find out more about treatments for psoriatic arthritis by calling Sergio Schwartzman, MD, today.