SA Orthopaedic Journal
Print version ISSN 1681-150X
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic symmetrical inflammatory arthropathy with potentially debilitating consequences in the early phases of the disease functional limitation is reversible; however, persistent inflammation results in irreversible structural changes and systemic effects accounting for considerable morbidity and premature mortality. This review, second of a two-part series, explores a paradigm shift in management of emphasising the pitfalls and benefit of early aggressive pharmacological therapies including the timely use of highly efficacious pharmacological innovations. Side effects, including peri-operative implications of pharmacological therapy, are discussed. These therapies are cost effective if used early and judiciously, giving hope to many patients with RA.