RESEARCH ARTICLE

The Future of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Hand Surgery - Combining Evolutionary Pharmacology and Surgical Technique

The Open Orthopaedics Journal 23 Feb 2012 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874325001206010088

Abstract

Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic autoimmune disease of uncertain aetiology, which is characterized primarily by synovial inflammation with secondary skeletal destructions.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is diagnosed by the presence of four of the seven diagnostic criteria, defined by The American College of Rheumatology.

Approximately half a million adults in the United Kingdom suffer from rheumatoid arthritis with an age prevalence between the second and fourth decades of life; annually approximately 20,000 new cases are diagnosed.

The management of Rheumatoid Arthritis is complex; in the initial phase of the disease it primarily depends on pharmacological management. With disease progression, surgical input to correct deformity comes to play an increasingly important role. The treatment of this condition is also intimately coupled with input from both the occupational therapists and physiotherapy.

Keywords: Rheumatoid arthritis, hand, arthropathy, sinovitis, inflammation.
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