For some individuals with knee osteoarthritis (OA), their
rheumatologist or family doctor may recommend a knee replacement if other forms
of treatment have not improved the joint’s ability to function or failed to
prevent further joint damage. A knee replacement is a surgical procedure in
which parts of the joint are replaced with artificial material to restore
function and ultimately reduce pain. In some cases, where both knees are
severely affected, patients might consider getting both knees replaced during
the same surgery, a procedure known as a bilateral knee replacement.
A recent story published in MedPage Today, and featured in RheumNow, explored the mixed evidence and experience related to bilateral knee replacement.
The primary advantage to getting a combined surgery is that there
is only one hospital stay and one recovery/rehabilitation period for both
knees. This means less time off work, in pain and needing supportive care. In
addition, the combined procedure often costs less for the patient and the
provider than having them done at different times. In 2016, the Canadian
Institute for Health Information (CIHI) found that the overall cost of the
simultaneous procedure was $20,800 compared to $23,700 for two separate
procedures. In Canada, knee replacement surgery, hospital stay and post-surgery
care (such as physiotherapy) are covered by provincial healthcare plans. Due to
the nature of the healthcare system in the United States, the reduced cost of
surgery can make a significant difference for patients.
It’s time to see your rheumatologist and specialist. Please have your recorder, pens and paper ready.
A study published in Psychological Science provides two hypotheses as to why note-taking is beneficial in a classroom setting. The first hypothesis is called encoding hypothesis, which says that when a person is taking notes, “the processing that occurs” will improve “learning and retention.” The second hypothesis is called the external-storage hypothesis – you learn by being able to look back at your notes, or even the notes of other people.
The same concepts can be applied to your medical appointments and is currently practiced by Dr. James Ryan, a family physician in Ludington, Michigan. With his patients’ approval, Dr. Ryan records their appointments, then uploads the audio file to a secure web platform for his patients. The recordings are annotated so that patients can easily search for specific topics in the conversation. Patients will be empowered and engaged in their own healthcare because they will have a reference of what was discussed. They can give family members access to the recordings as well.
Image courtesy of digital art at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
According to findings from a recent study, poor patient-provider communication and care coordination result in increased damage in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). If you would like to learn more about how to best communicate with your rheumatologist and physician, please visit JointHealth™ Education and take Lesson 1: The Art of communicating with your rheumatologist.
The research, titled “Relationship Between Process of Care and a Subsequent Increase in Damage in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus” was published in Arthritis Care & Research. The team wanted to understand how data from the Lupus Outcome Study could be used to evaluate healthcare interactions and subsequent accumulation of damage by the disease over two years.
North America’s first on-line classroom designed to educate, empower and graduate today’s modern arthritis patient
Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) today announced the launch of its newest on-line patient education program: JointHealth™ Education. Designed to enable arthritis patients to progress from being a “student” of arthritis to full-fledged “graduate,” JointHealth™ Education empowers and equips them to be equal partners on their health care team. As part of the launch, ACE is introducing the first course in the program – JointHealth™ Education: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) – to help patients and their healthcare providers better understand each other’s motivations and goals for the patient’s overall treatment and care plan.
“JointHealth™ Education was inspired by many of ACE’s members living with an inflammatory arthritis who have told us they lack the communications expertise to have full, satisfying conversations with their rheumatologists on topics such as treatment options during their clinical visits. The program is informed by our organization’s participation on a global advisory panel that conducted a survey in 16 countries of rheumatoid arthritis patients and their health care providers. The results illuminate the discord between the needs, concerns and fears of patients compared to the views of their health care providers,” said Cheryl Koehn, Founder and President of Arthritis Consumer Experts and a member of the RA Narrative Global Advisory Panel.