Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis
May 20, 2016

rheumatoid-arthritis-handA reassuring smile and passionate strive to serve are Dr. Gupta’s tools for successful approach to any complex condition of upper limbs. Talking about Rheumatoid Arthritis he calmly asserts, “It is a chronic debilitating condition of the joints where they become loose and deformed to result in loss of mobility and extreme pain for the patient.”

With more than 20 years of experience and 6000 surgeries Dr. Gupta was skeptical about the exact causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis and emphasized, “though no exact cause is yet known for this disease, it more or less is affected by genetic components and exposure to certain environmental conditions such as smoking, pesticides and silica.”

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“If the patient finds immense pain and swelling with tenderness in his smaller joints and on both sides of the body then it might be the beginning of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Important here is to take into account the damage that this disease causes to other parts of the body overall such as eyes, skin, blood vessels, lungs or heart.”

Credited with evolution of revolutionary changes in the treatment methodologies and awarded with prestigious honors Dr. Gupta has served diligently in AIIMS, The Medanta city of Medicine and is at present a part of Max group of hospitals. He graduated as an MBBS intern and then completed his MS in Ortho from All India Institute of Medical Sciences. As regards further in depth studies, Germany and USA have been his forte of medical knowledge.

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Providing an insight into Rheumatoid Arthritis he is assured that, “there are effective treatment techniques for the same if the orthopedics consulted is skilled and proficient at diagnosing. Rheumatoid Arthritis can be controlled with nonsurgical techniques that involve oral drugs or injection assisted with therapy and there are equally good surgical techniques which help to root out the problem.”

“Lastly, it is essential that therapy exercises should be kept going and women above 40 should be more alert to any pain and weakness in their joints aided by fever and immense fatigue as this is the gender that is more prone to be hit by Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

 

FAQ – Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic disorder of the joints. Each body is inbuilt with an immune system which protects the body by attacking any bacteria or fungi that is harmful for it. When this immune system mistakenly attacks the tissues of the inner lining of the joints the body is said to be affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis.
The synovium (inner tissues of joints) forms a fluid that helps in lubricating and easy movement of joints. When synovium is damaged it causes the cartilage, the bones and the joint spacing between bones to be affected causing the joints to become loose, unstable and lose their mobility over a period of time. Since joint deformity cannot be reversed it needs to be diagnosed early and effectively treated.
Some very common signs that can be observed in patients who suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis are swollen and tender joints, stiffness after waking from sleep or a long period of inactiveness, fever, tiredness and weight loss. An easy sign of Rheumatoid Arthritis is that it affects the joints of both sides of the body and primarily the small joints such as wrist and hands to begin with. The symptoms of RA may come and go in flashes and with time Rheumatoid Arthritis also affects parts of body that do not involve the joints such as eyes, lungs, skin, blood vessels, heart, kidneys, bone marrow or mouth.
No definite cause has yet been ascertained that triggers off Rheumatoid Arthritis but some emphasis is definitely laid on genetic components that directly is not responsible for it but makes the body more susceptible to be hit by this disease. Female hormones, more so above 40 years of age, exposures to smoking, air pollution, insecticides and silica or obesity are reasons that makes a body more prone to be affected by RA than others.
It is usually difficult to diagnose RA in the early stages as they are often mistaken as some other disease. The orthopedics concludes RA only after a thorough examination of the joints and the muscle strength including signs that show swelling, redness or tenderness in the joints assisted by some blood tests and imaging tests such as MRI or X-Rays.

There is as such no particular treatment methodology to totally eradicate this problem but the treatment options depend on the severity.

The initial treatment is started with nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs assisted with corticosteroid injections to relieve the patient from the enervating pain. Another relatively new methodology that has been evolved is the prescription of Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).These drugs not only slow down the progression of the disease but also save joints and other tissues from being permanently damaged. Biologics are substitute injections to DMARDs that can be inserted into the joints and work effectively to bring down the pain.

Another very important methodology of treating Rheumatoid Arthritis is therapy exercises under the guidance of a physiotherapist that enables the patient to be relieved of pain for a short period of time and also keep the joints in working condition. When the condition of the joints gets worse and seems irreparable then the orthopedics adopts surgical techniques which might be performed by any of the following procedures-

Synovectomy: surgery which removes the inner lining of the joints that have been damaged.

Tendon Repair: Repairing the damaged tendons around the joints by surgery that Rheumatoid Arthritis has affected.

Joint Fusion: when a joint cannot be replaced but needs relief from its enervating condition then the surgeon might fuse the joints together to stabilize and realign them.

Joint Replacement: In cases of completely damaged joints, the orthopedic surgeon might remove and replace the joint with a prosthesis made of metal and plastic and insert it surgically.

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