1. Who is a rheumatologist?
A rheumatologist may be an internal medicine physician or a paediatrician who is further specialized to diagnose and treat muscular, joints or autoimmune diseases similar to rheumatoid arthritis.
2. What diseases does a rheumatologist treat?
A rheumatologist can treat diseases like gout, osteoarthritis, chronic back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, tendinitis, spondyloarthropathies, psoriatic arthritis, and lupus.
3. What are the symptoms for which you need to see a rheumatologist?
You can see a rheumatologist for symptoms like back pain, joint pain, rashes, swelling in joints, itching or dry mouth, repeated fevers, bruising over skin, stiffness in joints or back, etc.
4. Is a rheumatologist, and an orthopaedic doctor the same?
No, an orthopaedic doctor can only treat joint and bones related problems. However, a rheumatologist in addition to musculoskeletal diseases also treats unexplained fever, rashes and systemic autoimmune disorders.
5. Does a rheumatologist treat bone cancer?
A rheumatologist is only specialized in non-surgical treatments. Bone cancer can be treated by an orthopaedic surgeon.
Branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases [musculoskeletal and systemic autoimmune conditions] such as arthritis, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, and many other diseases are called Rheumatologists. Physicians who are specialized in Rheumatology are Rheumatologists.
A 5-year medical degree [MBBS] that is recognized by the General Medical Council and a 2-year foundation course of general training are the basic requirements for an individual to be a doctor. However, following are the specialties or extra qualifications required to be a Rheumatologist:
Individuals who are suffering from any of the musculoskeletal disorders should visit a Rheumatologist 2 times a year or as directed by the doctor and healthy people can visit once in a year.
People who are suffering from any of the following medical conditions should consult a Rheumatologist.
However, these are only a few of the medical conditions and there are over 200 diseases and conditions that can be treated by a Rheumatologist.
Rheumatologists and Orthopedists are well-trained physicians who are specialized in diagnosing and treating medical disorders & diseases related to joints, muscles, and bones. However, Rheumatologists focus more on joint disorders and treat them through medicines & lifestyle modifications and Orthopedists treats through medicines & surgical treatment and manages the fractures of the body.
Yes, Rheumatologists can diagnose and treat osteoarthritis through medications and lifestyle modifications. However, one may consult other medical professions like Orthopedic doctors and Occupational therapists for faster recovery from osteoarthritis and better treatment outcomes.
In a few cases, gout may cause arthritis and can lead to joint pain. Rheumatologists can diagnose gout and provide an appropriate treatment plan to reduce the pain. So, Rheumatologists act as a resource for primary care doctors.
Rheumatologists cannot perform surgeries and they treat musculoskeletal diseases through therapeutic methods and lifestyle modifications. If surgery is required to perform, then the patient may be referred to specialists who are experienced in performing related surgeries.