25 Years In Arthritis: New Treatments, New Hope

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Biologics, Other Advancements Have Helped Those With Painful Condition

When MedPage Today contacted Dr. Joan Von Feldt to talk about the changes she’d witnessed in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) care in the past 25 years, she offered one piece of advice:

“I hope, in your article, you reflect the excitement that rheumatologists have in managing this disease, because it’s so much more satisfying,” said Von Feldt, a rheumatologist at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1984, the outlook for newly diagnosed RA patients was grim: a regimen of often toxic drugs that might slow the onset of crippling pain, but not for very long. Younger women were advised to forget about having children because they probably would be too disabled for the rigors of motherhood. The best outcome for many patients was joint fusion or replacement surgery.

“Our orthopedic surgeon came around to our offices two or three times a week to just kind of check in,” Von Feldt recalled.

Today, although disease flares and progression can’t be prevented entirely, doctors can now tell patients to expect long periods of remission and the availability of many effective, nonsurgical treatment options when their current regimens begin to fail.

Read More: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/PainManagement/25-years-arthritis-treatments-hope/story?id=9461561

RA|QA Rheumatoid Arthritis Questions & Answers

RA Guy Community News 12 Comments

QuestionSlipfinger asks:

Hello RA Guy..

I am 40 year old active, single guy, director of a company and apart from the current serious struggle for my company to stay afloat druing this serious financial disaster life was looking pretty good..

After a couple of years of my right knee flaring here and there and more joints in the last twelve months, five weeks ago after a multiple joint flare up I was diagnosed with RA with a Rheumatoid Factor of 26 (weakly positive). While waiting for a consultation with a rheumatologist I was prescribed Diclofenac, and on Christmas Eve started a course of Prednisolone tapering from 20mg to 5mg over the course of the next month to relieve immediate inflammations and Salazopyrin EN increasing from 500mg to 2000mg over the same period.

I have just finished reading every post you have blogged since you started this RA diary. To be honest, although very informative, I am completely shi**ing myself at the prospects of what looks incredibily likely I am to face in the coming hours, days, weeks, months, years and decades..

Not being married or in a relationship with anyone at the moment (I am a fussy fu**er!) I live on my own and the future looks like it can and will be extremely difficult, for someone living on his own. I still have my mum and sisters in the next town who will support me through thick and thin, but the future has suddenly started to look very bleak.

I have so many questions about medicines and organic supplements and have no RA TEAM to speak of and dont really know where to turn.

Any advice from anyone here?