Dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Early diagnosis and treatment – the cost-effective
way to improve quality of life
A 60-year old female patient visited BLK for OPD consultation with
complaints of pain and swelling in knees and few other joints with
excessive fatigue for about a year-and-a-half. She had made multiple
rounds of visits to a renowned Orthopaedician for knee surgery to get rid
of the pain and poor quality of life that she was living with.
The Orthopaedician at BLK suspected her to have Rheumatoid Arthritis
and suggested review for surgery after 2 to 3 months. In the interim
she was referred to Dr. Vishal Aggarwal for further treatment plan.
Dr. Aggarwal assessed the patient thoroughly and diagnosed her to have
Seropositive Rheumatoid Arthritis with 5 tender and 3 swollen joints
in moderate disease activity. The knees had synovitis with moderate
effusion along with some osteoarthritic changes and decreased range of
Dr. Vishal took stock of the patient’s condition and started her on
disease modifying drugs ( DMARDs). Her knees were aspirated which
yielded infl ammatory synovial fl uid. It was followed by intra-articular
injection- Triamcinolone in both the knees. She was advised rest for a
day, to be followed by various recommended exercises.
The patient came back after a month-and-a-half walking all by herself.
She was 70% better with no tender joints. Her knees now had minimal
swelling and crepitus with full range of movements.
Rheumatoid Arthritis causes damage to the cartilage and bones of the
affected joints. This results in early Osteoarthritis at a young age leading
to deformity and disability requiring surgery. If Rheumatoid Arthritis
is recognised and diagnosed early, especially in the first 6 months and
managed optimally, there is no need for a major surgical intervention.