Ask the Rheumatologist: Latest Answer
Linda from Canada asks: My rheumatoid arthritis doctor mentioned that I have erosions. Could you please explain this…how serious is it? Is there something one can do for it?
Rheumatoid arthritis causes joint pain, stiffness, swelling, functional impairment, and if not controlled quickly enough, it can cause permanent damage to the joint. The first sign of permanent damage is an erosion, a small bite out of the bone about the joint. A small bite of the bone is not something that a person will notice, but if it continues to develop bigger and there are more of them, it can cause significant deformity in the future. Once an erosion occurs, it cannot be reversed. However, aggressive treatment to control rheumatoid arthritis can prevent further damage from happening.