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Treating Arthritis in Young Adults

WABC—May 19, 2006

Do you know what rheumatologists are? They're arthritis specialists, and a group of them at Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan wants to find arthritis and treat it early to prevent crippling.

The gnarled hands of Rheumatoid Arthritis, one of the worst cripplers and causes of disability in the world -- these hands may have a brighter future. They belong to Joanne Adlerstein, an immigration attorney, whose symptoms began in December.

She is now in good hands, you might say, thanks to the efforts of Theodore W. Fields, M.D., FACP and other rheumatologists at the Early Arthritis Initiative at Hospital for Special Surgery. Their goal is to educate doctors and patients that long-lasting joint pains mean arthritis.

Stephen A. Paget, M.D., FACP, FACR, Hospital for Special Surgery: "We can stop the disease in its tracks. So the earlier the diagnosis, the earlier the therapy and the better the outcome."

Much has been learned about the condition, and many tricks have been discovered to help people cope with it. For example, a lever door opener can take the pressure off the small sore joints of the hands so that patients can open it. It's one of the things that patients learn here at the Early Arthritis Initiative.

Visit the Early Arthritis Initiative to learn more.


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