While rheumatologists are mainly known for diagnosing and treating degenerative joint diseases, they also treat more than 100 other diseases and conditions that affect the joints, muscles, bones and connective tissues. Rheumatologists often treat:
- Musculoskeletal pain disorders
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Back pain
- Certain autoimmune diseases
Some of these are very serious diseases that can be difficult to diagnose and treat. Many conditions are chronic and require ongoing medical management.
Some musculoskeletal disorders respond best to treatment in the early stages of the disease, so it is important to determine a correct diagnosis early in the course of the disease. However, many types of rheumatic diseases are not easily identified in the early stages. Because of this, rheumatologists are specially trained to uncover the cause of swelling and pain.
Rheumatologists are often called in by primary care physicians or internal medicine physicians to consult on cases. They may even be needed in urgent cases involving swollen joints, which may be a sign of septic arthritis, a potentially fatal condition.
For more information on arthritis, click here.
For an appointment with a DMC Sinai-Grace rheumatologist, call 313-966-4800.