Rheumatoid arthritis: Operate early if joints don’t respond to drugs

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Better medication means that people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are less likely to turn to surgery less frequently than in the past. Before effective drugs became available to treat severe joint pain, doctors tended to surgically remove inflammatory tissue. A German specialist, Hans-Dieter Carl, also says doctors now fit fewer artificial joints than two decades ago. However not all joints respond to medicine and some will remain swollen and painful. In such a case, doctors will often recommend what is known as a synovectomy, the removal of the membrane (synovium) that lines a joint. As…

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