Osteoarthritis Treatment: The Role of the Rheumatologist


Rheumatologists specialise in diagnosing and treating situations that have an effect on your joints. A main care physician could refer you to a rheumatologist if in case you have osteoarthritis. But if you happen to want surgical procedure, you’ll require an orthopedic surgeon.
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As many as 24% of U.S. adults have arthritis, which might trigger joint ache, stiffness, and swelling. The most typical type is osteoarthritis, primarily affecting folks older than 45. Some folks could develop it at a youthful age if they’ve a joint harm or an issue with the construction of a joint.
Osteoarthritis causes the gentle tissues of your joint to interrupt down, affecting all the joint, together with the bone. It tends to worsen over time. It could take years for signs to develop in some folks however a a lot shorter time for others.
Treating osteoarthritis usually begins with a main care doctor (PCP). They could refer you to a specialist known as a rheumatologist. Here’s what to find out about rheumatologists and the way they will help you handle osteoarthritis.

What is a rheumatologist?

What is a rheumatologist?
Rheumatologists are docs who specialise in treating continual rheumatic ailments. Rheumatic ailments embrace situations that have an effect on your musculoskeletal system, together with your:
muscular tissues
What do rheumatologists deal with?
Rheumatologists are board licensed and expert in diagnosing and managing greater than 100 situations affecting your joints and skeletal system.
The situations they deal with embrace:
rheumatoid arthritis
decrease again ache
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How can a rheumatologist assist with osteoarthritis?

How can a rheumatologist assist with osteoarthritis?
There’s no remedy for osteoarthritis, however you’ll be able to gradual the situation’s development with cautious administration. Rheumatologists use a number of sources of knowledge to reach at a analysis, together with:
bodily examination
medical historical past
household historical past
imaging, like X-rays or MRI
exams to rule out different situations
A rheumatologist will attempt to scale back ache, protect perform, and gradual the situation’s development.
Rheumatologists will help you create a therapy plan and may prescribe treatment. They can even make referrals if you happen to want surgical procedure.

How can a main care physician assist with osteoarthritis?

How can a main care physician assist with osteoarthritis?
Your PCP is commonly step one to a analysis. They might be able to spot the warning indicators and signs and provide you with a referral to the precise specialist for therapy.
Some signs and indicators they contemplate earlier than making a referral embrace:
issue shifting a joint
stiffness, ache, or swelling in a joint
joints which might be pink or sizzling to the contact
irregular lab work that signifies a joint or rheumatic situation
earlier harm to a joint

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What different specialists will help with osteoarthritis?
Besides your PCP and rheumatologists, a number of varieties of healthcare professionals will help get you in your technique to feeling higher and managing your osteoarthritis.
Other specialists embrace:
bodily therapists, who will help you with workout routines to enhance how your joint works
orthopedic surgeons, who can carry out surgical procedure if wanted
chiropractors, who focus in your backbone and physique construction
psychologists, counselors, and social employees, who will help with psychological well being challenges as a result of situation
physiatrists, docs who deal with bodily treatment and rehabilitation
dieticians, who will help you create a wholesome consuming plan to handle your weight, as extra weight can worsen your situation
nurse educators, who will help you perceive the situation
occupational therapists, who will help you handle on a regular basis dwelling
Do rheumatologists carry out surgical procedure for osteoarthritis?
Rheumatologists are educated and expert in diagnosing and treating rheumatic illness and joint problems however don’t carry out surgical procedure.
They could refer you to an orthopedic surgeon if they believe you want surgical procedure. Orthopedic surgeons specialise in performing surgical procedure on bones and joints.
A rheumatologist may refer you to orthopedic bodily remedy.
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How do I do know which form of physician to see for osteoarthritis?

How do I do know which form of physician to see for osteoarthritis?
Most folks’s first cease is a PCP. They could ask you about your signs and medical historical past, carry out bodily exams, and carry out or order testing. They’ll refer you to the precise specialist primarily based on their finest evaluation of your situation.


Treating osteoarthritis could contain interacting with many varieties of specialists. Among them are rheumatologists, docs specializing in diagnosing and treating joint situations. They can speak with you to develop a therapy plan and refer you for surgical procedure if wanted.
Because osteoarthritis is a continual situation with no identified remedy, it’s essential to handle it to gradual its development and keep your joint perform.

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