My Blog

Posts for: January, 2018

 

Reuters reports that the incidence of hip fractures in older women in the U.S. is rising after more than a decade of decline, according to a large new study of Medicare recipients.

Researchers analyzed Medicare claims data from 2002 to 2015, from more than 2 million women age 65 or older. They found that hip fracture rates declined each year from 2002 to 2012, the researchers found. But starting in 2013, hip fracture rates leveled off and were higher than expected.

Increases in fracture rates were prominent in women ages 65 to 69, which had risen by 2.5 percent, and in women ages 70 to 74, which had risen by 3.8 percent, from 2014 through 2015.

The net results is more than 11,000 additional estimated hip fractures over the time periods 2013 to 2015.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women age 65 or older get screened for osteoporosis with a type of X-ray called a DEXA scan to measure bone loss. Postmenopausal women under age 65, with risk factors for osteoporosis, should also be screened. Risk factors include a family history of osteoporosis, diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, the use of certain medications, and smoking and drinking alcohol.

Osteoporosis screening by DEXA or bone density exams is critical since there is a 25% mortality risk over 1 year and 25% risk of functional limitation after hip fractures. This is a TREATABLE DISEASE and prevention is key!!


 

This an old blog from Jack Kush, MD from his "RheumNow Week in Review" published 1/19/2018:

This past weekend I was fortunate to lecture at the Harvard Advances in Rheumatology Course, where I reviewed the safety issues surrounding the use of biologic therapies. In discussing infections, cancer, cardiovascular events, etc., it became very clear to me that these problems, while worrisome, are often escalated in their importance – all at the expense of what is most dangerous: RA itself."

 

I do agree with this blog from Dr. Kush. We must alway keep the proper and correct perspective

when we evaluate our conditions and make decisions on accepting and seeking treatment. There are always

potential risks with treatments of diseases AND ALSO NOT treating diseases!

We must remember this and keep the proper balance and appropriate judgements in optimizing our health care and wellness.


By Mark Fisher MD
January 02, 2018
Category: Rheumatologist

Find out more about this inflammatory autoimmune disease and how to treat it.

Have you or a loved one recently been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis? If so, then chances are good that you are looking for more rheumatoid arthritisinformation about this condition and the treatment options available to you to reduce your painful symptoms, reduced your risks for joint damage, and preserve your overall functioning. Our Haddon Heights, NJ, Rheumatologist, Dr. Mark Fisher, is here to answer all of your questions about rheumatoid arthritis so you can understand more about this chronic condition and what you can do about it.

What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

This chronic condition is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the joints of the body. This can lead to a thickening of the tissue around the joint known as synovitis. This thickening leads to widespread pain and swelling and potential damage to the joints. Joint deformity and malfunction can result and a disabling, progressive arthritis affecting multiple joints in a symmetrical fashion ensues. 

If RA is left untreated, it can cause permanent damage to the joints, tissue and cartilage, which is why it’s so important to visit our Haddon Heights rheumatoid arthritis doctor right away for an early diagnosis. The sooner we can start treatment the better. Early diagnosis and management is always the key to the best success!!

What are the symptoms?

Those with RA will experience a variety of different joint-related symptoms including,

  • Swelling, stiffness and joint pain (lasting longer than six weeks). 
  • Prolonged morning stiffness more than 1-3 hours distinguishes RA from the usual arthritis we may experience with age known as osteoarthritis.
  • Widespread joint discomfort, usually in a symmetrical distribution
  • Pain and swelling within smaller joints 
  • (e.g. joints within the hands or feet)  and also can include larger joints ( e.g. shoulders, hips, and knees)

Along with joint pain, swelling, and inflammation, those with RA may also have a lack of an appetite, weight loss, chronic lethargy,  fever, lumps or nodules over the elbows and other areas. RA symptoms may flare-up and is characterized by such exacerbations of pain and swelling of joints, and can last several months; however, this also means that there are periods of lesser activity of symptoms where you might experience fewer symptoms.

Since RA is an autoimmune disorder it can affect everything from the eyes and skin to the lungs and even the blood.Patients with such a disorder can also have higher risks for internal problems such as cancer, cardiovascular complications, anemia, and other medical problems.

How is RA treated?

While RA cannot be cured, but there is a very effective treatment for it. The inflammation and pain can be managed and complications (e.g. joint damage and other risks) can be greatly reduced through early diagnosis and with the proper medication. Common RA medications include,

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (to reduce pain and inflammation)
  • Corticosteroids (to manage severe inflammation flares
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as methotrexate, antimalarials, sulfasalazine
  • Biologic monoclonal antibodies and these have made phenomenal changes in the course of this illness for many and life-changing impact on patients' lives and functionality

During your visit, we will discuss which medications will help your symptoms and offer the best overall plan to maintain your function and joint protection with the least risks.

If you are looking for a Rheumatologist in Haddon Heights, NJ, who can help your RA symptoms and to improve your quality of life, then look no further than our very own Dr. Fisher. Our compassionate, caring team is here to help you every step of the way, so you can enjoy what really matters in life.

Call 856-547-8004




Camden County, NJ Rheumatologist
Mark Fisher, MD
713 Station Ave
Haddon Heights, NJ 08035
(856) 547-8004