A rheumatologist is a specialist physician who has been trained to diagnose and treat arthritis, musculoskeletal conditions and autoimmune disease including vasculitis and connective tissue disease.
Examples of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions that Rheumatologists treat include:
- osteoarthritis – often a degenerative condition that can involve the hands, feet and weight bearing joints
- gout- an inflammatory joint disorder caused by the deposition of uric acid
- osteoporosis- a condition that results in an increase in fragility of the bones rendering an increased risk for fractures
- spinal pain – neck and back pain
- tendonitis and bursitis – affecting the peripheral joints such as the shoulders, hips, elbows and wrists
- chronic generalised pain syndromes- such as fibromyalgia.
The autoimmune conditions that are treated include:
- rheumatoid arthritis- a potentially severe inflammatory joint disorder usually affecting the small joints of the hands and feet
- psoriatic arthritis- an inflammatory arthritis generally associated with psoriasis
- ankylosing spondylitis- an inflammatory condition affecting the axial spine
- reactive arthritis- joint inflammation occurring in the setting after an infection
- systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)- an autoimmune condition that can affect multiple organs including joints, skin, blood vessels (Raynaud’s phenomenon) and in severe cases can also affect the kidneys and lungs
- scleroderma- a condition that causes thickening of the skin however may also affect the kidneys and lungs
- sjogren’s Syndrome- an inflammatory condition that affects the salivary and lacrimal glands causing dry eyes and mouth
- myositis- a condition that causes weakness and inflammation of the muscles.
Our rheumatology services
We work in close collaboration with both surgical and medical departments.
We also work closely with allied health practitioners such as hand therapists, physiotherapists, podiatrists, and dieticians to help manage your condition.
A holistic approach is taken to manage your condition both physically and psychologically.
When you see the Rheumatologist, a history and physical examination will be taken. Additional tests including blood tests, X-rays or other scans may be required.
The Rheumatologist will work closely with your General Practitioner to establish a management plan and to ensure that the best care is provided.
A referral is required from your General Practitioner to see a Rheumatologist.
Please bring the referral with you for the appointment as well as any blood test results or X-rays if you have any.
Benefits of our rheumatology service
Our rheumatology services can assist and benefit you in a number of ways:
- diagnosis and treatment of your rheumatic condition in a compassionate and professional manner.
- pain management, including back and neck pain
- a holistic approach to care that includes patient education and access to allied health professionals
- strategies to better cope with fatigue, anxiety, depression and issues related to your illness
- a focus on improving your overall quality of life.
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