As methods for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis have advanced, primary care physicians emphasize early intervention and now see less of the characteristic joint deformation complications that are common late in the disease process.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic polyarticular inflammatory arthritis that is inextricably intertwined with autoantibodies, rheumatoid factor, and anti-CCP.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a not-uncommon systemic polyarticular form of inflammatory arthritis. Its exact causes are, as of now, unclear. RA most commonly presents itself as a symmetric pain and swelling of the synovial joints. Autoantibodies like rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA) are typically present in patients. If RA is left untreated, there is a very high risk of substantial deformity and disability.
In the past 10 years, the advent of effective disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs such as methotrexate and biologic agents have changed the treatment of RA and the course of the disease, increasing emphasis on early diagnosis and treatment. Multiple studies back up the claim that optimal outcomes are predicated by early intervention. As such, medical practitioners are urged to recognize the importance of early action so that they may formulate early plans of action.