With every decade of life, I am increasingly grateful for the advances that research has produced. These advances go much further than microwave ovens and cell phones. We have seen major strides in treatment of patients with rheumatic diseases.
RA Treatment: Historical Perspective
Thirty years ago, the diagnosis of RA was devastating. Patients with RA frequently experienced joint erosions and marked deformities. Although the medication and treatments available then were markedly better that those used in the prior decade, it still felt a bit like putting a finger in the dike against this powerful disease.
Patients with RA often faced a life of painful challenges. Physicians fought to “keep patients going,” health professionals used words like “maintain and modify,” and orthopedic surgeons described some surgeries as ways to “salvage joints and patient function.”