Doctors hold out hope for psoriatic arthritis patients

ST Correspondent
Friday, 12 October 2018

Spelling out a ray of hope for patients suffering from psoriatic arthritis, on the eve of World Arthritis Day on Friday, doctors said that if it is diagnosed early, it can help the patient to live a normal life. 

Pune: Spelling out a ray of hope for patients suffering from psoriatic arthritis, on the eve of World Arthritis Day on Friday, doctors said that if it is diagnosed early, it can help the patient to live a normal life. 

Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis that affects some people who have psoriasis — a condition that features red patches of skin with silvery scales. Most people develop psoriasis first and later are diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, but the joint problems can sometimes begin before skin lesions appear.

Studies show that about 30 per cent of people with psoriasis also develop a form of inflammatory arthritis called psoriatic arthritis. Like psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means that it occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, in this case the joints and skin. 

Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Piyush Nashikkar, orthopaedic surgeon at Accord Hospital said though the cases are very rare, due to ignorance and lack of awareness among patients, most of the time it goes undetected.

“Between 2011 and 2018, I have encountered 10 such cases. However, not many patients are aware of it. If the diagnosis comes early, the chances of deformities can be controlled. After early detection, precautions, physiotherapy and exercise can tremendously help,” said Dr Nashikkar.

“Just like the skin disease, the immune system also attacks joints and so the chances of deformity was more. However, if the patient was at the end stage the only solution is replacement,” said Nashikkar. Dr Ajit Nalawade, Consultant Rheumatologist at Pain and Arthritis Clinic, Columbia Asia and Sancheti Hospital, Pune said recently there has been an increased identification of psoriatic arthritis among existing psoriasis patients because of improved diagnostic modalities.

“Based on my clinical experience, over the last few years, on an average, we witness that one-fourth of our psoriasis patients suffer from psoriatic arthritis. Due to the limited understanding of the disease and its symptoms, patients are diagnosed 3-4 years after the onset of the disease. This delay in diagnosis can lead to the worsening of the condition. If left untreated, flare-ups of psoriatic arthritis can be unpredictable and painful, affecting a person’s daily life,” Dr Nalawade added.

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