Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a progressive disease that rarely goes away even with treatment. It can become quiescent for a number of years, but eventually it will re-establish itself. Early treatment with the expanding array of new drugs is the key to slowing down the progression of the disease. It is important to start treatment before articular cartilage destruction or bone erosion develops. With better medical control of RA there will be a decreased need for surgery. Drugs such as methotrexate (Trexall, Rheumatrex), etanercept (Embrel), and infliximab (Remicade) have made a dramatic impact on the mobility and quality of life of RA patients.