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In short, rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease which attacks joints in the body. It can affect the alignment and positioning of those joints, even to the extent that they become stuck in a bent position or become dislocated. Bone erosion caused by RA may make the ends of bones rough and irregular. Patients may eventually notice that their fingers begin to shift toward the direction of their elbow.
In previous posts, we have discussed different types of surgery used in patients living with rheumatoid arthritis, including synovectomy, tendon repair, and carpal tunnel release . Today’s discussion centers around joint replacement and implants.
What is Joint Replacement?
One would think that this is a simple question, right? Take the joint out and put a fake or replacement one in. But in researching this subject, I found it rather difficult to find information which went much beyond this simple concept without become ...
Symptoms There are usually no symptoms. Signs and tests A solitary pulmonary nodule is usually found on a chest x-ray. If x-rays repeated over time show the nodule size has remain unchanged for 2 years, it is generally considered benign. A chest CT scan is often done to look at a solitary pulmonary nodule in more detail. Other tests used to examine a solitary pulmonary nodule may include: PET scan Percutaneous needle biopsy Single-photon emission CT (SPECT) scan Skin tests to rule out infectious causes Lung biopsy
Q: How do most patients get referred to a rheumatologist in the first place? Kremer: Usually, it’s the pain that’s perceived to be arthritis pain. Sometimes it’s muscle pain. Other times it can just be a nagging pain from anywhere that the primary care provider cannot diagnose. It’s more helpful to be referred to a rheumatologist when there are other symptoms along with the pain, such as early joint swelling. Q: What does the rheumatologist do when they see a referred patient? Kremer: We’ll take a history. Do you have morning stiffness? Fatigue? How long has this been going on? Do you have any family history of these same symptoms? After history, you do a physical exam looking for impaired joint movement, which joints are swollen, warm to the touch, difficult to move. Q: When do you take lab tests? And which tests do you start with first? Kremer: It depends on where the initial history and exams lead you. You many test for Rheumatoid factor (...
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