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April 22, 1994 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-04-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4 ■

SPRING 1994 ISSUE ■ SINAI HOSPITAL

HealthNews

Treating Arthritis
A Personal Approach



W

At Sinai, the patient is an important member of the healthcare team.

Functional Recovery Program:

Conquering Pain and Getting Back to Normal

ith more than 100 diseases
causing arthritis, it's no
wonder that finding the origin
of arthritis is no simple task.
That's why Sinai physicians use
one of the best methods avail-
able for diagnosing arthritis.
"We talk with our patients
and we listen," explains Samuel
Indenbaum, M.D., Chief of Staff
and Section Chief of Rheuma-
tology. A good patient history is
one of the most effective diag-
nostic tools that a physician can
have for treating arthritis.
Over the past few years, test-
ing for arthritis has also become
much more sophisticated. Blood
tests are now available that help
doctors to understand whether
pain in the joints is due to in-
flammation and disease or sim-
ple wear and tear.
And when you combine a com-
prehensive patient history with
a thorough examination, the se-
cret of arthritic pain can be un-
covered.

Continued from page 3

problems, the FRP can
help.
"Our Functional Re-
covery Program em-
phasizes function in
patients who complain
of chronic pain. It's the
kind of program that is
not offered by any oth-
er area hospital," says
Joseph C. Honet, M.D.,

cupation can benefit
from rehabilitation.
Says Dr. Ellenberg, "At
the FRP, we see people
from all walks of life.
From auto workers to
postal employees to at-
torneys, doctors and
secretaries, our pro-
gram reaches out to all
workers who want to

ended up better
than I was before the
accident. It changed
my entire life..."

Chairman of the De-
partment of PM&R.
"This isn't new," he
adds. 'We've been doing
it all along. Now we're
just formalizing it. We
will work with industry
to get these patients the
help they need to
achieve full function."
Just about every oc-

improve their physical
performance on the
job."
For Mrs. Rosier, a
corporate trainer, the
FRP was just what she
needed. In addition to
relieving nearly all of
her pain, the FRP
taught her valuable
tools for daily living.

"The FRP staff taught
me how to pace myself
and control stress," she
says. "It was an excel-
lent program."
Robert Johnson of
Rochester agrees. At 35,
he injured his back af-
ter lifting a heavy piece
of steel in a die shop.
Several months later —
following inappropriate
therapy and misdiag-
nosis — Mr. Johnson
entered the FRP at
Sinai Hospital.
"I don't like to take
pills, and I don't like to
sit around thinking
about the pain," ex-
plains Mr. Johnson.
"Daily stretching and
exercises greatly relieve
the pain and make it
tolerable. Dr. Ellenberg
and the entire staff
were simply fantastic.
It's the best thing Work-
ers' Compensation ever
did for me."

Pinpointing the
Cause of Rheuma-
toid Arthritis

Recent breakthroughs in
learning about the immune sys-
tem have proven to be a valu-
able tool in discovering the cause
of one of the most severe types
of arthritis -- rheumatoid
arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an
autoimmune disorder in which
the body's immune system turns
against and attacks the joints
and surrounding soft tissues.
"New strategies are allowing us
to isolate the white blood cells
that are causing the trouble and

then eliminate them," explains
Dr. Indenbaum. The new ther-
apy stops further damage and
holds great promise for people
suffering from rheumatoid
arthritis.

Lyme Disease —
The Silent Stalker

It's hard to believe, but a sim-
ple walk through a field without
the proper protective clothing
can lead to arthritis. Sounds far-
fetched? Well not when you con-
sider the unusual properties of
Lyme disease which has recently
been identified as another cause
of arthritis.
Lyme disease is caused by a
bacteria that is most often car-
ried by deer ticks. The disease
is characterized by fever,
headaches, lethargy, muscle
pains and joint inflammation. If
diagnosed in its early stages,
Lyme disease can be treated and
cured. If left undiagriosed, a cure
can take much longer.
"In the past, a patient who
came to their doctor complain-
ing of the flu---like symptoms as-
sociated with Lyme disease may
not have received the most ac-
curate diagnosis," says Dr. In-
denbaum. wlbday a blood test is
available to confirm the pres-
ence of Lyme disease. If we can
diagnose the disease before joint
inflammation occurs, we can
generally treat the patient with
antibiotics."

Early Diagnosis and
Treatment Are Key

In all cases of suspected
arthritis, Dr. Indenbaum em-
phasizes the importance of ear-
ly detection and treatment.
"Damage to the joints is gener-
ally irreversible. So the longer
you wait, the greater the dam-
age, no matter what success you
have in treatment," he says.
After getting the diagnosis, he
adds, it is essential that the pa-
tient follows through on the pre-
scribed treatment. "If you don't
follow your doctor's instructions.
you've wasted your time and
possibly caused yourself even
further harm," cautions Dr. In-
denbaum.

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