Common inflammatory joint diseases and associated chronic processes cause damage to many organ systems in the body. These diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Typical symptoms of inflammatory arthritis include:
- Constant pain during the day
- Pain even while resting
- Increased level of pain at night and early in the morning
- Stiffness for more than 30 minutes in the morning
- Swollen, hot and red joints
Specialist Level I, Dr Nguyen Thi Kim Huong at FV’s Rheumatology Unit says that although inflammatory joint diseases are not life-threatening right away, they cause loss of bone and joint function, affecting the patients’ ability to perform everyday tasks and subsequently their quality of life. Therefore, these diseases require early diagnosis and treatment to prevent and limit long-term damage to bone and joint structures.
To diagnose inflammatory joint diseases, doctors assess the patient’s clinical condition at the time of examination, combining results of laboratory tests and imaging techniques such as blood tests, ultrasound, and radiography (X-rays, MRI scans).
In the past, the treatment of symptoms using pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs, combined with physical therapy, was common. However, in the past decade or so, achievements in molecular biology have allowed us to better understand the pathogenesis of inflammatory arthritis and identify the roles of cells, as well as the products of the body’s immune response. This is the premise for new therapeutic preparations: targeted therapy with biological drugs.
Biological drugs have been proven to be effective in tolerability and disease control in both clinical and laboratory tests, creating a revolution in the treatment of inflammatory joint diseases, helping to take advantage of the “window of opportunity” in order to prevent and minimise damage to the structure and function of bones and joints, reverse disability and improve quality of life, and optimise treatment benefits.
At the Rheumatology Unit within FV Hospital’s Internal Medicine Department, the use of biological drug therapy to treat patients with inflammatory joint diseases has yielded positive results. Pain and swelling disappeared after a few cycles of taking the drug, without the use of pain relievers. Inflammation was well controlled, and liver and kidney functions remained stable.
Dr Nguyen Thi Kim Huong graduated from Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine in 2007 and received a Specialisation Degree Level I in Internal Medicine in 2017 at the same school. Besides, Dr Kim Huong also has many years of training at Purpan Hospital, Toulouse, France, specialising in Musculoskeletal Internal Medicine and General Internal Medicine. Dr Kim Huong has continued to study more advanced training courses in her specialty via the European Society of Rheumatology, including Musculoskeletal Ultrasound (2013), Musculoskeletal Pathology (2014), Paediatric Joint Disease (2015), Connective tissue pathology (2015), and Musculoskeletal Imaging (2019).
With 14 years of experience and deep expertise in autoimmune and musculoskeletal diseases, Dr Kim Huong has helped patients with musculoskeletal problems become pain-free and walk and use their hands normally again.
To book an appointment with Dr Nguyen Thi Kim Huong, please contact the Rheumatology Unit, Internal Medicine Department, FV Hospital: (028) 5411 3333, ext. 1526.