Open access

NEWS - Rheumatology

Percutaneous vertebroplasty for osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture – Cochrane Library (link to abstract – $ for full-text)

Summary: Featured Review: Vertebroplasty for treating spinal fractures due to osteoporosis – Cochrane Library (free)

High quality evidence shows that vertebroplasty does not provide more clinically important benefits than placebo but may cause people harm”.


Seven-year tolerability profile of glucocorticoids use in early rheumatoid arthritis: data from the ESPOIR cohort – Annals of Rheumatic Diseases (free)

Commentaries: Long-Term Safety of Glucocorticoids in Patients with Early Rheumatoid Arthritis – Journal Watch (free) AND Long-term Low-dose Steroids OK in Early RA – MedPage Today (free registration required)

“Long-Term Safety of Glucocorticoids in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis. Stopping steroids completely is difficult in patients whose disease flares with tapering, but low-dose levels are relatively safe” (RT @JWatch see Tweet)


Corticosteroid or Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs for the Treatment of Acute Gout: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials – The Journal of Rheumatology (free)

Source: EvidenceAlerts

Corticosteroids and NSAIDs did not have different effects on pain scores, but there was a higher risk of indigestion, nausea and vomiting with NSAIDs.


Osteoarthritis of the Knee Clical Care Standard – Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (PDF Guideline and other resources)

Source: Research Review Australia (free resource to find articles of interest)


Long-Term Effects of Repeated Injections of Local Anesthetic With or Without Corticosteroid for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: A Randomized Trial – Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (free)

Source: ACP Journal Wise ($)

“Epidural injections of corticosteroid plus lidocaine offered no benefits from 6 weeks to 12 months beyond that of injections of lidocaine alone”


Incidence of and risk factors for nephrolithiasis in patients with gout and the general population, a cohort study – Arthritis Research & Therapy (free)

Commentaries: Gout Patients Run Higher Risk of Kidney Stones – MedPage Today (free registration required) AND Gout associated with elevated risk for kidney stones – MedWire News (free)

“60% increased risk of first-time nephrolithiasis versus general population, with little protection from allopurinol” (from MedPage Today)


A comprehensive guide to the new science of treating lower back pain – VOX (free)

“Mainstream medicine has failed people with chronic back pain”


New National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) Summaries in Low back, Cervical and Thoracic Spine Disorders with focus on occupational health.

Low Back Disorders – American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (free summary from NGC – $ see original guideline in ACOEM website)

Cervical and thoracic spine disorders – American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (free summary from NGC – $ see original guideline in ACOEM website)


Effectiveness of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for the treatment of pain in knee and hip osteoarthritis: a network meta-analysis – The Lancet (link to abstract – $ for full-text)

Diclofenac 150 mg/day is the most effective NSAID available at present (are the cardiac and renal risks worth it?) and Paracetamol does not seem to work for this condition.


Is cyclobenzaprine useful for pain? – Therapeutics Initiative (free)

“…cyclobenzaprine is a long-acting sedative, not a muscle relaxant, and questioning whether any potential benefits are worth the side effects”. (from TI Newsletter). “If prescribed, a dose of 5 mg at bedtime should be tried first.  Evidence suggests titration based on response and tolerability to a maximum dose of 15 mg/day, for no longer than one week”.


Clinical characteristics and outcomes of diffuse alveolar hemorrhage in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus – Seminars in Arthritis & Rheumatism (link to abstract – $ for full-text)

Commentary: Prompt Evaluation of Lung Bleeds Needed in Lupus – MedPage Today (free registration required)

“Low hemoglobin, low C4 and hypoxia are features of poor outcome” (from MedPage Today)


What I Wish I’d Known About My Knees – The New York Times (10 articles per month are free)

Related guideline: Arthroscopic surgery for degenerative knee arthritis and meniscal tears: a clinical practice guideline – The BMJ (free)

“There’s little evidence to support many of the procedures people undergo in the hopes of avoiding a knee replacement”. (RT @NYTHealth see Tweet)


Prevalence of Axial Spondyloarthritis Among Patients With Fibromyalgia: A Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study With Application of the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis International Society Classification Criteria – Arthritis Care & Research (link to abstract – $ for full-text)

Commentary: Does Fibromyalgia Mask Spondyloarthritis? – MedPage Today (free registration required)

Small study (99 patients) showed some patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia have imaging changes suggestive of axial Spondyloarthritis, suggesting that Fibromyalgia may mask an underlying Spondyloarthropathy.


Your vitamin D tests and supplements are probably a waste of money – VOX (free)

Related: Why Are So Many People Popping Vitamin D? – The New York Times (10 articles per month are free)

“Screening for vitamin D has exploded — with no good evidence that it helps people.”


Serum uric acid levels and multiple health outcomes: umbrella review of evidence from observational studies, randomised controlled trials, and Mendelian randomisation studies – The BMJ (free)

Observational studies suggest that high serum uric acid levels are associated with multiple health outcomes, including cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. This review findings suggest there is a clear association only for gout and nephrolithiasis.


After Knee or Hip Replacement, No Place Like Home – The New York Times (10 articles per month are free)

See also: Time to Rethink Inpatient Rehab After Knee Replacement? – The Rheumatologist (free)

Original article abstract ($ for full-text): Effect of Inpatient Rehabilitation vs a Monitored Home-Based Program on Mobility in Patients With Total Knee Arthroplasty: The HIHO Randomized Clinical Trial – JAMA (free)

The NYT commentary talks about the futility of some interventions currently used to postpone surgery and about the benefits of outpatient rehabilitation.


Preventing Sports Injury and Illness: Key Resources for Family Physicians – American Family Physician (free)

Selection of resources for primary care providers to improve their ability to prevent and treat injuries from sports and physical activity.


Why Are So Many People Popping Vitamin D? – The New York Times (10 articles per month are free)

“Labs performing these tests are reporting perfectly normal levels of vitamin D — 20 to 30 nanograms per milliliter of blood — as “insufficient.” As a consequence, millions of healthy people think they have a deficiency”

Note: Some organizations still think appropriate levels would be above 30 nanograms per milliliter of blood, more details in the text.


ACR Appropriateness Criteria Adds Topics, Covers More Clinical Variants Than Ever Before (free)

Browse Appropriateness Criteria Topics (free)

Source: Newswise

This comprehensive guide from American College of Radiology (ACR) covers 230 topics with more than 1,100 clinical indications and has just been updated. It is a very useful resource for doctors in all specialties to guide which exam is most appropriate in each clinical situation.


Impact of total knee replacement practice: cost effectiveness analysis of data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative – The BMJ (free)

See also: Knee Replacement Should Be Reserved for More Severe Osteoarthritis, Study Suggests – Physician’s First Watch (free)

Total knee replacement for patients with osteoarthritis had minimal effects on quality of life in this study. Severely affected patients seem to benefit the most from the procedure.


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