Tag Archives: arthritis treatment

arthritis misdiagnosis

Arthritis Misdiagnosis

For 20 years, Frances Muller’s rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was misdiagnosed. A neurologist told her the pain in her hands was carpal tunnel syndrome. An internist told her the all-over aches were the flu. An orthopaedic surgeon said she had bursitis in both shoulders. “None of my symptoms made any sense,” and none of the treatments helped, says Muller, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz. After she’d seen 13 other doctors, an orthopaedic surgeon who ordered an X-ray of her pelvis finally figured it out: there was no way she could have so much damage to her hips and not have RA.

Misdiagnosis is one of the most common medical errors, occurring in about 10 to 20 percent of cases, according to the National Center for Policy Analysis. It can lead to unnecessary or delayed treatments and physical and emotional suffering.

In rheumatology, where symptoms and diseases frequently overlap, even experienced and well-intentioned physicians can miss important clues. “For many rheumatic diseases, there’s no gold standard [for diagnosis],” says Don L. Goldenberg, MD, chief of rheumatology at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Massachusetts. “You don’t biopsy it. There aren’t a lot of laboratory tests.” If patients are concerned, they should get a second opinion, he adds.

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medical bills for arthritis care

Avoid Medical Bill Surprises for Arthritis Care

Managing your arthritis already takes a toll on your wallet. But a hospital stay or trip to the ER can have harmful financial consequences if you’re not vigilant. Nearly one in three Americans say they’ve been hit with unexpected medical charges in the past two years, according to Consumer Reports National Research Center. Here are some tips to help you ensure you’re not paying more than you should.

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Arthritis Treatment Goals

Achieving Arthritis Treatment Goals

Studies show nearly half of all patients don’t follow their doctor’s advice, so they fall short of their health goals.

“Almost everyone wants to feel better and do what they set out to,” says William McCann, director of behavioral science education at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. “But translating knowledge into action requires strategy.”
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