My Blog


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

By Mark Fisher MD
November 28, 2017
Category: Rheumatologist
Tags: Arthritis  

While arthritis is a common diagnosis and ailment for many, the word alone does not always tell the whole story. It is actually a very arthritisinclusive and encompassing term for many types of arthritis and related conditions. Recognizing the signs of arthritis early can help assist in effectively diagnose, treat,  and manage these conditions. Find out more about the symptoms and signs and possible complications of arthritis and what your doctor can do to treat it with Dr. Mark Fisher in Haddon Heights, NJ.

What are the symptoms of arthritis? 
Arthritis affects the joints and often increases in severity with age. Two major types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, occurring with wear and tear with age or injury, and the inflammatory type such as  rheumatoid arthritis, an immune related condition that affects the body symmetrically involving the small and large joints, such as both wrists, hands, elbows, hips, or both knees and ankles. The early symptoms of arthritis include early morning stiffness and pain, and may include joint swelling and these symptoms may depend on the type of arthritis you have. 

Some of the general symptoms of arthritis include:

  • joint pain
  • joint stiffness
  • joint swelling
  • joint redness and warmth
  • decreased range of motion of the joint
  • Nodules or lumps on the elbows
  • Other systemic signs may include: Skin rashes,  chest pain with breathing, discoloration of the fingers with cold temperature, unexplained fevers, fatigue

Diagnosing Arthritis
Your doctor will use the medical history and physical examination and certain laboratory and X-ray studies and careful consideration of this information to diagnose your arthritis-related condition. Often, all of this information can help diagnose the more specific classification of the arthritis related condition you may have. Doctors can also test a joint fluid sample to search for evidence of infectious arthritis or gout in some cases. The collection of symptoms, physical findings, lab and  X-ray results can assist the arthritis specialist or Rheumatologist prepare the likely diagnosis and suggest the appropriate management plan to protect the joints and improve and reduce activity of the arthritic or autoimmune process.

Arthritis Treatments in Haddon Heights, NJ
Many of the initial treatments for arthritis may include rest, increased exercise, physical therapy, or occupational therapy. If these methods do not provide adequate results, over-the-counter or prescription drugs may help manage the symptoms. The type of medication will depend on the underlying arthritis condition causing your symptoms. These drugs may include disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or Biologic response modifiers. These may help prevent the condition from worsening and preserve the joint’s functionality and range of motion and overall health of the patient. Your doctor may suggest surgery in severe cases, such as joint replacement, but these treatments can substantially reduce the need for surgery or risks of disability.

For more information on arthritis, please contact Board Certified Rheumatologist Dr. Mark Fisher in Haddon Heights, NJ. Call (856) 547-8004 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Fisher today!

By Mark Fisher MD
October 17, 2017
Category: Rheumatologist
Tags: Psoriasis  

Don’t let this autoimmune disorder affect your appearance and quality of life.psoriasis

Those who deal with psoriasis are often embarrassed when flare-ups happen. After all, their once smooth skin is now covered with thick, red, scaly patches. If you wish you could wear short sleeves or shorts without worrying that other people will notice your psoriasis, then our Camden County, NJ, Rheumatologist Dr. Mark Fisher is here to tell you how he can help.

While mild psoriasis symptoms can be treated with treatment options such as topical steroids and light therapy, those who battle moderate-to-severe symptoms may need to turn to our Camden County, NJ, rheumatology doctor for a more effective treatment.

Many people dealing with more serious psoriasis symptoms can finally find the relief they seek through biologics. Biologics are injectable  drugs that work by acting directly on the immune system to reduce the intense inflammatory lesions of psoriasis. These medications can be very effective. Significant risks such as infection must be discussed, and it is important to consider these factors before deciding whether this is the best option for managing your psoriasis.

The Severity of Your Symptoms

If you are dealing with plaques over about 25 percent to 50 percent of your body or more,  this is a good indicator that you may be an ideal candidate for this treatment. Those with milder symptoms often don’t require such aggressive treatment in order to experience relief.

Your Quality of Life

Take a second to determine just how much psoriasis affects your daily life. This is probably one of the most important factors. If you find yourself retreating from social gatherings and hiding behind layers of clothes because of your psoriasis then biologic drugs may be the best way to improve your skin and your confidence. Psoriasis can affect your joints in a very aggressive way as well.

Your Overall Health

Biologics work by suppressing the immune system in different ways, so it’s important that you have no other medical issues that would increase risks of side effects from these medications. We will go through your medical history and perform a thorough evaluation to make sure that you aren’t dealing with serious health problems that would be impacted by a suppressed immune system. These treatments have made huge impacts in a very positive way for many years for so many with low risks for adverse reactions.

If you want to find out more about getting biologics in Southern New Jersey to treat your severe psoriasis symptoms that has failed conservative management, then it’s time you scheduled an evaluation with Dr. Fisher.

This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.

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