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Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis commonly affects the hands and wrists, causing swelling, pain, stiffness and deformity You may experience:

  • Throbbing and aching pain
  • Stiffness – you may not be able to bend your fingers or make a fist shape
  • Tenderness, swelling and redness, to the point where the joints are hot to touch
  • Swellings under the hands, known as rheumatoid nodules, that are under the skin
  • More general symptoms like a lack of energy, a temperature, sweating, weight loss and chest pain

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, so instead of fighting off infection, your immune system attacks the cells around your joints instead. You might be more likely to have the condition if you smoke or someone in your family suffers from it.

Diagnosis

If you think you’re experiencing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis or you have any kind of pain in your hands or wrists, you can book an initial consultation with Mr Sarker at his clinics in Essex or central London.

During your initial consultation, Mr Sarker will talk to you about your symptoms and carry out a physical assessment to check your range of movement from your wrists all the way down to your fingers. You may also need some blood tests and scans, including X-rays or an MRI scan, to help diagnose the type of arthritis.

He will refer you to a rheumatologist as well as medical therapy is an important part of the treatment.

Treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term condition that can’t be cured, however, there are treatments to help manage flare-ups. It can cause long-term damage to your joints, so early diagnosis and treatment are key.

 

Steroids and anti-inflammatory medication

Two types of medication can help reduce pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help to reduce inflammation, while steroids can reduce pain and stiffness, as well as inflammation.

Mr Sarker may recommend a steroid injection to help relieve any pain or swelling. This is where the steroids are injected directly into the painful joint, or the muscle if there are lots of painful joints. This can give you short-term relief during a bad flare-up.

 

Surgery for rheumatoid arthritis

Mr Sarker may recommend surgery if your joints are very damaged. Surgery is always a last resort, and he will always try to use other methods first. There are a few surgeries available:

  • Arthroscopy: A procedure where Mr Sarker will remove any damaged tissue by inserting a camera into the joint.
  • Joint replacements: A procedure where Mr Sarker will remove the old joint and replace it with an artificial one that can last between 10 and 20 years.

  • Joint fusion surgery: A procedure where Mr Sarker welds your joints together to make them stronger and reduce pain. Joint fusion surgery can limit your movement, so this is usually a last resort. 

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve been referred by another doctor. How does the process work?

Mr Sarker works closely with rheumatologists and other doctors. If you’ve been referred, you’re in safe hands. You’ll need to see Mr Sarker for a consultation, and he’ll be able to recommend an individual treatment plan for you, while keeping your doctor informed throughout the process.

Can I use my private medical insurance?

Yes, Mr Sarker is approved by all major medical insurance providers and these treatments are well recognised. You’ll need to make sure your particular insurer provides you with  authorisation at each stage of your journey.

Can I pay for my own treatment?

Yes, Mr Sarker is happy to see patients on a self-pay basis. If you’re looking for prompt treatment from an expert hand and wrist consultant, you can book an appointment with Mr Sarker by getting in touch directly. You’ll be made aware of all of the prices for anything you need well ahead of having them, so you can make the right decision for you.

How much is a consultation with Mr Sarker?

An initial consultation is £200, and a follow up consultation is £150. The price of any scans, tests or treatments will depend on the hospital you visit, but you’ll be made aware of any costs well in advance of any procedure, so that you can make an informed choice.

Do I need a referral letter to see Mr Sarker?

Mr Sarker is happy to see you without a referral letter, but if you’re using your insurance, you should check with them as they may request that you get one.

Where can I see Mr Sarker privately?

Mr Sarker has clinics in Essex and Central London. You can see them all here.

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