Video Q & A:

RA Progression

Question:

What are rheumatoid nodules?

Expert:   Harry D. Fischer, MD, Chief of Rheumatology, Beth Israel Medical Center New York »

Rheumatoid nodules are a common complication of the disease. Watch this to learn how they grow under your skin and how to remove them.

Transcript: Rheumatoid nodules are firm, but NOT solid, lumps of tissue and white blood cells that form under the skin, commonly on the hands, elbows and feet. Between 25 and 50 percent of people with RA develop nodules. Fortunately, the presence of rheumatoid nodules doesn’t lead to more serious complications. But they DO make daily tasks a lot MORE difficult. They also HURT when bumped or hit. For these reasons, many people choose to have a few surgically removed. The nodules MAY come back, but there’s a chance that they WON’T, or if they do, they’ll grow back slowly. Nodules are also removed surgically in the rare case of infection. Some DMARDs—or disease-modifying anti rheumatic drugs—and glucocorticoid injections may be used in place of surgery to shrink the nodules, although one DMARD, methotrexate, may increase the size of the nodules. If you’re interested in treating your rheumatoid nodules, speak with your doctor for more details. View more videos in this series to learn more about RA. More »

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