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Suffering from Rheumatoid Arthiritis. Has swollen knees, high temperature. Allopathy not helpful. Surgery an option?

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Hello. This query relates to the health of my mother who is suffering from Rheumatoid Arthiritis(RH Factor from last test - 160; swelling in knees with higher temperature than rest of the body) since 2 yrs. We have tried allopathic medicine for this duration without significant change in the situation(or even if there was improvement the overall situation kept going back to originial state). Now it has become difficult for her to walk as well as pain the right knee is very high. Problem has started in major joints but pain in right-knee is significant. Right now we have started ayurvedic medicine but this is going to be a long drawn process as I understand. So I would like to know if allopathic medicine does have a definitive cure for this ailment or any alternative approaches of surgery are available for this specific problem.
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Arthritis
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 21 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

I can understand your concern for your mother's condition. I will do my best to explain the best possible management for her.

Kindly do answer a few of my queries for me to be in a better position to help.

Has your mother developed arthritis of the joints of her fingers ?

Are both the knees affected ? Kindly mention other joints which are involved as well.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disorder which generally occurs in age group of 50s and begins to affect the small joints of the fingers first. Neck joints, hip joint may also be involved. Knee joint being involved causes a lot of distress and decreased movement.

In allopathy we have wide variety of treatment. Usually pain killers like NSAIDs and steroids to control pain to good extent and another group of drugs called DMARDs (Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatoid Drugs) are available to halt the worsening of the disease.

Excellent medication in DMARD category consist of Infliximab, Adalimumab, Methotrexate etc. which will do wonders in preventing further damage and suffering.

There is no definitive cure in medical treatment but if the damage to the joint is much, she can be surgically treated with joint replacement. Here the Surgeon put's smooth titanium metal joints which will cause complete abolition of pain in the affected joint.

Hence there are options to choose from. She will need a thorough workup before deciding which therapy will suit her best.

Medical therapy will surely take a few months to show best effect but surgical replacement of joint will cure her pain and suffering of the involved joint.

You may take her to a leading Orthopedician or Joint replacement specialist for a thorough checkup.

She may use a walking stick to walk as this will reduce the effort and disability due to the pain.

She must consume diet XXXXXXX in proteins and fresh fruits and XXXXXXX leafy vegetables and low in carbohydrates, fatty food. Avoid fried and junk food. Drink plenty of water. Get 6-8 hours of refreshing sleep daily. She also needs moderate exercise to reduce weight which will hamper the healing process and may flare up diabetes and increase risk of heart disease. Walking everyday for 20 minutes with walking stick will help a lot.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be available to answer your follow up queries.

Wishing speedy recovery.


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Follow-up: Suffering from Rheumatoid Arthiritis. Has swollen knees, high temperature. Allopathy not helpful. Surgery an option? 44 minutes later
Hello Dr. Aashish,
Thanks for your prompt response. She does not have so much pain in the joints of the fingers, it almost looks negligible there. But pain is there in both knee-joints, left one is lesser than the right knee. Additionally pain was also there in both elbow joints with slight swelling, but that seems to be slightly better now-a-days.

Could you suggest any good doctors here in Bangalore for this situation. I was thinking more of a Rheumatologist than a Orthopedician? Pls. confirm. Additionally, as suggested we could buy a walking stick for her which would aid in walking. Diet-wise her apetite has reduced but mostly she eats only from the categories mentioned above.

Currently I do not have the list of medicines she was taking from the earlier doctor but I could furnish it in next couple of days to probably provide you more details.

Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 1 hour later

Thanks for the reply.

Your mother may benefit with treatment by NSAIDs and DMARDs as mentioned in my earlier Post. This can be started by a Rheumatologist after a thorough checkup.

You are welcome to consider a Rheumatologist for her treatment but this Doctor will only be able to provide medical treatment rather than surgical as well. Anyway, your mother can be well evaluated by a Rheumatologist and a good treatment regime started. Do discuss about Joint replacement with the Rheumatologist as an option as well.

You may consult Doctors at leading Hospitals like Mallya, Apollo, Fortis, XXXXXXX Hospitals etc. I will not be able to provide detailed information in this regard on this forum due to binding rules, I'm Sorry.

Kindly do let me know about the medication your mother has been taking for her treatment as this will help shed more light.

I hope I have answered your query.

Wishing good health.


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