Around the Rheum

Around the Rheum

Episode 28: Axial Spondyloarthritis - A Patient's Story with Dr Elie Karam

January 31, 2023

On this episode of Around the Rheum, we're thrilled to have Dr. Elie Karam as our guest talking about his journey with Axial Spondyloarthritis, a form of arthritis that causes inflammation and pain of the spine as well as other parts of the body, including the peripheral joints, entheses, gut and eyes.

Dr. Karam is Chair of the Canadian Spondylitis Association (CSA): a patient-led, not-for-profit organization focused on advocacy for Canadians living with this disease.

He is a self-described Ankylosing Spondylitis warrior, advocating as both a physician and a patient with the condition. In this fascinating conversation, Dr. Karam describes his own journey with spondylitis, the challenge in getting a diagnosis, and finally his experience with treatment. He and Dan talk about the difficulties in dealing with this "invisible disease," how patients can better advocate for themselves, and what more can be done by doctors and the healthcare system to help patients.

Dr. Karam is currently completing his family medicine residency at the University of Ottawa, after having switched out of orthopedic surgery after his diagnosis. Please join us for his inspiring tale!

Around The Rheum (ATR) is produced by the CRA Communications Committee.

A special thank you to the podcast team, Dr. Dax G. Rumsey (CRA Communications Committee Chair), Dr. Daniel Ennis (Host), and David McGuffin (Producer, Explore Podcast Productions) for leading production.

Our theme music is by Aaron Fontwell.

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For more on the work of the Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA), please visit