The purpose of this blog is to expand on relevant topics related to my field of rheumatology, namely issues regarding various musculoskeletal conditions and autoimmune diseases. My plan is to discuss both complicated and straight forward problems, state of the art treatment options regarding these conditions, and whatever else seems relevant and interesting.
The world of musculoskeletal medicine is entering an exciting era. In the past, most people, physicians included, considered msk problems to be a lost cause. Keep the ship steady until things get real bad, then operate to replace what had become a lost cause. That approach didn’t really treat the condition. It covered up the problem until it became so bad that you eventually had to address it.
But things have changed. For autoimmune related arthritis conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, we can actually stop the progression of disease. By stop I literally mean to prevent a condition from progressing at all. For conditions that were previously thought to be universally progressive, that is amazing.
For osteoarthritis and tendinitis, the old ways still predominate. The best non-surgical options previously included physical therapy and occasional anti-inflammatory injections to help with pain, but the end result was the same; a slow progressive decline. We do not have a definitive stop mechanism for osteoarthritis and tendinitis yet. But the newer autologous cell based therapies such as platelet rich plasma and stem cells offer hope for a different paradigm. That’s the future, and it’s already started.