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Osteoarthritis worse after RA diagnosis?
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lcover posted:
Hi,

I was diagnosed with RA two years ago and have been taking Simponi for a year and a half. In this time I feel like issues with osteoarthritis have worsened.

Last year, the basal thumb joint area started burning and xrays showed bone spurs and there is a visible change in my thumb. Now I'm having stiffness in my knee and recent xrays show a change plus bone spurs.

I'm looking for any information on RA & osteoarthritis and I'm curious if anyone has experienced anything similar.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.
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Scott Zashin, MD responded:
Osteoarthritis is a common condtion. As a result, it is often seen in patients with RA. For thumb arthritis, I recommend topical anti inflammatories to my patients such as voltaren gel. I also recommend a thumb splint. I have found one splint very helpful that can be found on my web site,www.thumbsplints.net. In terms of knee arthritis, every extra pound relates to 4 extra pounds on the knee so I ask my patients who may be a few pounds heavier than they should to try to lose some weight. In a few weeks, I will discuss some natural therapies to help with OA on web md osteoarthritis community.
 
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lcover replied to Scott Zashin, MD's response:
Thanks Dr. Zashin, I appreciate the response. I've been using the splint and voltaren gel for a year and it has helped.

I just think it's interesting that the osteo has been more of an issue since I was diagnosed. I seem to be noticing subtle changes since the diagnosis two years ago.

Can RA cause more issues with osteo?
 
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Scott Zashin, MD responded:
I have not heard of osteoarthriits associated witn Simponi. In my patients with osteoarthritis of the basal thumb, I suggest a thumb splint to try during the day. The brand I recommend to my patients can be found at www.thumbsplints.net . For the knee, there are many different treatments available but for my patients who are overweight, I encourage weight loss as each extra pound of weight translates to 4 extra pounds on the kee. I will be talking more about osteoarthritis in the coming weeks on the OA community through WebMD.
 
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Scott Zashin, MD replied to lcover's response:
In areas where RA has caused damage, secondary osteoarthriits is not uncommon.