Medical Information

Explore detailed information about a range of joint problems and treatments, including medications, surgery, physiotherapy and rehabilitation. Reading this will help you understand more about your own condition. There is also a glossary with explanations of many medical terms used in orthopaedics. You can find out even more by following the links page to other related websites, journals or professional medical associations.

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Sjögren’s Syndrome

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Sjögren’s Syndrome
Sjögren’s syndrome is named after Henrik Sjögren (pronounced ‘Shurgren’), the Swedish ophthalmologist who first described it in 1933. It is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the body’s immune system, which usually fights infections, attacks the body’s own tissues. The most common symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome are dry eyes or a dry mouth (sometimes both together), and feeling very tired and aching.

Although there is no cure for this syndrome, most people can be treated quite easily. A few do have other, more serious symptoms. These can also be treated and are also described in this booklet.

There are two types of Sjögren’s syndrome. Secondary Sjögren’s syndrome occurs with another rheumatic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. Primary Sjögren’s syndrome is not associated with any underlying rheumatic disease.

Is Sjögren’s syndrome the same as sicca syndrome?
No. ‘Sicca’ simply means dryness. Sicca syndrome describes problems of dry eyes and a dry mouth which are not caused by an autoimmune disorder

Who gets Sjögren’s syndrome?
It occurs mostly in women between the ages of 40 and 60. It is much less common in men (1 in 10 of those with Sjögren’s syndrome are men), and occurs only rarely in childhood. It affects all races.

What are the main symptoms?
The two most common complaints are:
dry eyes and/or a dry mouth
feeling very tired and aching
Many people do not have any other symptoms.

Editor: David P Johnson MD.
St Mary’s Hospital. Clifton Bristol. BS8 1JU.
Web site:
© OrthopaedicsOpinionOnline 2011

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of Ortho100 or the author. The information is provided for general background reading only and should not be relied upon for treatment. Advice should always be taken from a registered medical practitioner for individual circumstances and for treatment of any patient in any circumstances. No liability is accepted by Ortho100, or the author in respect to the information provided for any reason or as a result of treatment in individual circumstances