What is a Rheumatologist:

A rheumatologist is an internist, who received further training in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disease and systemic autoimmune disease commonly referred as rheumatic disease. These diseases can affect joints, muscles and bones causing pain, swelling, stiffness and deformity. 

What should you expect from your rheumatology visit?

Rheumatic diseases are sometimes complex in nature and difficult to diagnose, so a rheumatologist will gather a complete medical history and perform a physical exam to look for signs and symptoms of inflammation throughout the entire body and musculoskeletal system. Family history can be very important to the diagnosis of rheumatic disease and will be assessed.

The rheumatologist will review the results of any prior testing that has been performed on a patient and may order additional laboratory tests and radiological testing to assess inflammation and musculoskeletal abnormalities.

All of these results will be combined to determine the source of patient’s symptoms and develop a personalized treatment plan.

Some rheumatic diseases can be difficult to diagnose and may require several visits for the rheumatologist to fully understand the underlying disease process.