New recommendations reveal benefits of MSUS when treating rheumatoid arthritis

November 5, 2012

Topic: orthopaedic pain

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Rheumatoid arthritis can cause a great deal of orthopaedic pain, and patients need to work closely with their healthcare providers to address it. Researchers are currently looking to see if musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSUS) is a better way to diagnose and manage the condition, compared to traditional methods.  

New recommendations published in the journal Arthritis Care and Research discussed when it may be beneficial to use MSUS. For instance, a professional in the field of orthopaedics can use the technology when a patient complains of articular pain, swelling or difficulty using his or her joints, and the clinician is unsure of the diagnosis.

Although unnecessary when the rheumatoid arthritis is already identified, MSUS can assist physicians with finding a quick and accurate diagnosis. The results can then provide the professional with clues of how to manage the condition going forward.

"With so many people affected by rheumatic diseases, including arthritis, a diagnostic tool such as MSUS that is minimally invasive and with little risk to patients is an important tool for rheumatologists," said lead researcher Tim McAlindon, M.D.

In 2007, approximately 1.5 million American adults were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

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