More insight found on unpleasant rheumatoid arthritis symptom

November 27, 2012

Topic: orthopaedic research

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New orthopaedic research reveals that there may be a solution to alleviate one common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis - the sensation of walking on marbles. With the help of diagnostic images, clinicians may be able to help these patients walk pain free.

Scientists found that if they use diagnostic ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging techniques they can assess the forefeet to see if a patient has inflamed bursae - fluid-filled pads - beneath their joints. Not only are these painful and can lead to infection, but they may be difficult to detect during a clinical assessment.

By identifying bursae in a rheumatoid arthritis patient, treatment can be planned accordingly to reduce discomfort.

"Our linked study aims to significantly improve the lives of those affected by the condition in their forefeet, reducing the severity of the symptoms including pain, inflammation, poor sleep, fatigue and depression, and therefore helping improve their mobility and well-being," said study leader Catherine Bowen, M.D.

In 2007, approximately 1.5 million American adults were living with rheumatoid arthritis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Affected patients may experience mild to debilitating symptoms.

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