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A Rheumatologist is a doctor who is specialized in the diagnosis, management and treatment of systemic autoimmune conditions and musculoskeletal diseases commonly known as rheumatic diseases. Rheumatology is the field of medicine that is concerned with the evaluation and treatment of people with disorders of the joints, muscles, tendons, bones and other connective tissues including autoimmune conditions.
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:
Rheumatologists can treat autoimmune and inflammatory conditions affecting the joints, bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels (eg., Vasculitis). Some of the conditions include:
No, Rheumatologists do not perform surgeries. They usually perform physical exams, diagnostic tests, lab, and imaging tests. Rheumatologists will evaluate a patient before and after surgery. If drugs, physical or occupational therapy, or assistive devices (such as canes or braces) do not provide enough control over rheumatic diseases, they will direct you to a surgeon.
Rheumatologists evaluate, diagnose, and treat people with diseases and disorders of the joints, muscles, tendons, bones, and other connective tissues including autoimmune conditions. They use non-surgical methods like physical exams, diagnostic tests, lab, and imaging tests and evaluate patients before and after surgery. Orthopedists, on the other hand, treat mechanical issues related to the musculoskeletal system like wear & tear and fractures.
An individual can consult a Rheumatologist if they have any of the following symptoms:
You can consult a Rheumatologist either online or offline. However, depending on the availability of the doctor and the convenience of the patient, pre-booking may be required for consultation.
It is recommended to consult a Rheumatologist once every year to get an update on the health of the joints, muscles, tendons, bones and other connective tissues. If a person has an existing joint disease or condition, it is advised to have regular follow-ups with the Rheumatologist.