It is with sadness that the Arthritis Foundation notes the passing of Dr. Stephen Katz, who presided over the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) as Director of the Institute since 1995.
Going off to college can be a tough transition for anyone. But if you’re a teen with arthritis, starting college can pose unique challenges: leaving behind family and friends who understand and support your health needs, navigating campus on foot when every step causes pain, watching roommates go out at night when you need sleep just to function and feeling like you’re the only young person in the world with a disease associated with old age.
Rachel Mershon and Caroline Bailey know the feeling all too well. Diagnosed with arthritis at age 14, Mershon left home for the first time two years ago to pursue a degree in nutrition at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Bailey was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis just months before the start of her freshman year at the University of Mississippi. Both young women say the transition to college life was a difficult – and lonely at times.
More than 15,000 doctors, nurses, physical therapists, researchers, scientists and others with interest and/or expertise in rheumatology gathered in Chicago in late October for the American College of Rheumatology’s Annual Meeting. The Arthritis Foundation had a contingent of “patient representatives” attending to provide the perspective and voice of people living with arthritis. They fanned out to attend sessions, view and present posters and collect information about exciting new developments in the field. Here are their notes from the final sessions of the meeting.
This Friday, October 12, is World Arthritis Day!
World Arthritis Day is a special day that unifies people of all ages, races, and genders to raise awareness of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). Each year, thousands of people all around the world take to social media using the #WorldArthritisDay hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to celebrate the strength and determination of people with arthritis. This year, we’re going a step further.
Fewer people may get joint replacement procedures in the future than previously thought. That’s according to research presented recently at the 2018 annual meeting of the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) in New Orleans. Lead author Matthew Sloan, MD, an orthopedic surgery resident at the University of Pennsylvania, says the number of procedures will continue to rise but at a slower rate.
Knee and hip replacements have been the standard treatment for end-stage arthritis for more than 40 years. During that time, the rate of surgeries has skyrocketed, more than doubling between 2000 and 2008 alone. There has also been an increase in so-called “revision surgeries” – do-over procedures to replace a failed or worn-out implant after the initial surgery.
Thank your doctor today – it’s National Doctor’s Day!
The first Doctors’ Day observance occurred in 1933 in Winder, Georgia, where Eudora Brown Almond, the wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond proposed setting aside a day for mailing greeting cards and placing flowers on the graves of deceased doctors. In 1958, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a resolution commemorating Doctors’ Day. And in 1990, following overwhelming approval by Congress, President George H.W. Bush turned the commemoration into a national holiday.
National Doctor’s Day is a day we celebrate “the contribution of physicians who serve our country by caring for its citizens.”
Raquel Masco is no stranger to making the most out of a difficult situation. In fact, she’s made an entire career from dusting herself off and getting back on her feet. After leaving an unhealthy relationship to raise her child alone, Raquel decided she would help others in similar situations. She co-founded the nonprofit SingleMothers4Change and has spent the last several years ensuring single moms in her Texas community have the resources they need to build an amazing life.
With her can-do attitude, it’s no surprise that an arthritis diagnosis didn’t keep her down. She’s determined to make the best of her life, even if it means working through the pain and acknowledging her limitations.
“Some days I feel like I’m being held up by a string,” she says. “I work through the pain, but also have learned how to pace myself, and that I am often more effective if I acknowledge my limitations.”
Arthritis might be far more common in the United States than previously thought, especially among adults younger than 65. That’s according to a new study published online in Arthritis & Rheumatology in November.
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) undertook the study because they suspected the current estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – which puts the number of adults with arthritis in the U.S. at around 54 million – might be too low.
In mid-September, pop singer and songwriter Lady Gaga announced she was postponing the European leg of her world tour until early 2018 due to “severe physical pain.” She explained on Twitter, “I have to be with my doctors right now so I can be strong and perform for you all for the next 60 years or more.”
Six days later, she disclosed that the pain witnessed by viewers of the new Netflix documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two is from fibromyalgia, a condition associated with widespread chronic pain, fatigue, memory problems and mood changes.
Ninety percent of people in the United States who have the chronic autoimmune disease lupus are women and, according to two new studies published recently in Arthritis & Rheumatology, large proportions are Hispanic or Asian. Like African-Americans, these two ethnic/racial groups are not only at higher risk of lupus than whites, they’re also more likely to have aggressive forms of the disease, researchers in New York and San Francisco found.
Lupus, or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an affect virtually every organ system, and symptoms vary widely. Some patients have relatively mild skin and joint symptoms that may go into remission for long periods. Others have cognitive (neuropsychiatric) manifestations or life-threatening complications such as lung, heart and kidney problems.