Submitted by Takeda
Every joint bleed matters
70% to 80% of all bleeds in hemophilia occur in the joints.1 If not treated promptly, even a single bleed can lead to permanent joint or muscle damage, even for people with mild hemophilia.2
Is it a bleed?
In a bleed’s early stages, the joint may tingle or feel warm. Sometimes the skin over the joint may feel warmer than the skin nearby.3
What’s important is to go by what you feel, not necessarily what you see.3
Prevent joint disease before it happens
The most effective way to protect your joints from future damage is to stick to your prescribed treatment routine.4 For decades, prophylaxis with Factor has been the most widely used treatment for hemophilia, with a proven track record of reducing bleeds, preserving joint health, and in some cases resolving target joints.1,5
Even patients with joint damage can benefit from Factor prophylaxis because it can help preserve joint structure and function.
Keeping fit supports healthy joints
Staying active—even short walks—is a great way to keep your joints healthy; it helps the surrounding muscles and tendons stay strong.3 Consider that every additional pound you gain puts 4 times the amount of stress on your knees.6 So it’s important to maintain a healthy weight with exercise.
The World Federation of Hemophilia encourages physical activity appropriate to your ability and interest to help keep joints healthy and reduce the risk of bleeds.7 (Please consult with your healthcare provider prior to engaging in any physical activity.)
Take control of your joint health1
Working with your care team is a good way to monitor your joint health so you can take the treatment steps necessary to keep your joints healthy long-term. To gain insights into your joint health, your care team may use clinical examination, x-rays, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs).
Nowadays, an ultrasound may routinely be used to identify early changes in the joints, which can help guide treatment. If you have joint pain, an ultrasound also can help your care team understand if the pain is from a bleed or other causes, such as arthritis.
Your commitment to staying on top of your treatment plan through monitoring with a care team, prophylaxis with Factor, and staying active will help keep your joints healthy.
Remember Factor coverage when you’re active
Prophylaxis with Factor before starting physical activity can help lower the risk of a bleed and is recommended by the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF).8,9 Keeping Factor in your body above a meaningful level helps provide coverage to protect your joints.
To keep your joints as healthy as you can, continue your prescribed prophylaxis routine.1 And be sure to talk with your doctor about when to modify your infusions based on your activity level.
Visit bleedingdisorders.com for more information about joint health.
- Quon D. Joint health in hemophilia: latest approaches and advances. Medscape. https://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/908267. Published February 5, 2019. Accessed May 6, 2019.
- Alavian S, Norton C, Othman S. Living with mild haemophilia and care after a bleed—a qualitative study. J Haem Pract. 2016;3(1):14-23. doi:10.17225/jhp00063.
- Joint Bleeds. The Hemophilia, von Willebrand Disease & Platelet Disorder Handbook. Hemophilia of Georgia. http://www.hog.org/handbook/article/3/33/joint-bleeds. Accessed May 10, 2019.
- Manco-Johnson MJ, Soucie JM, Gill JC. Prophylaxis usage, bleeding rates, and joint outcomes of hemophilia, 1999 to 2010: a surveillance project. Blood. 2017;129(17):2368-2374.
- Mullins ES, Stasyshyn O, Alvarez-Román MT, et al. Extended half-life PEGylated, full-length recombinant factor VIII for prophylaxis in children with severe haemophilia A. Haemophilia. 2017;23(2):238-246.
- 51 ways to be good to your joints. Arthritis Foundation website. http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/pain-management/joint-protection/joint-health.php. Accessed May 10, 2019.
- World Federation of Hemophilia. Fitness and physical activity. Guidelines for the Management of Hemophilia. 2nd ed. 2012. http://www1.wfh.org/publications/files/pdf-1494.pdf. Accessed May 10, 2019.
- National Hemophilia Foundation. Playing it safe: bleeding disorders, sports, and exercise. HANDI Information Resource Center. 2017. https://www.hemophilia.org/sites/default/files/document/files/Playing-It-Safe_0.pdf. Accessed May 5, 2019.
- Broderick CR, Herbert RD, Latimer J, et al. Association between physical activity and risk of bleeding in children with hemophilia. JAMA. 2012;308(14):1452-1459.
- National Hemophilia Foundation. Role of new prolonged half-life clotting factors in hemophilia: new clotting factors for dosing schedule flexibility. HANDI Information Resource Center. 2014. https://www.hemophilia.org/sites/default/files/document/files/PHLBrochure.pdf. Accessed May 10, 2019.
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