Thursday, July 18, 2024

What Kind Of Doctor Should I See For Arthritis

Early Signs Of Arthritis

Should You Take Glucosamine For Arthritis

While some signs of arthritis develop and worsen with time, other symptoms are often present at the onset of the disease. Common early signs of arthritis are morning stiffness,4 fatigue,5tingling,6 and numbness of the joints.

Individuals with early onsite arthritis may feel unusually fatigued doing normal daily activities, and this fatigue may come or go on certain days. Tingling and numbness may be mild sensations in the beginning. Stiffness in the morning that only lasts a few minutes is often an early warning sign of a degenerative form of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis. Meanwhile, individuals who experience morning stiffness that lasts a few hours may be feeling an early warning sign of rheumatoid arthritis or another form of inflammatory arthritis.6

Who Decides If I Need Surgery

If you and your doctor think you may require surgery, your doctor will refer you to an orthopaedic surgeon. The surgeon will assess you and recommend whether or not you will benefit from surgery. In some cases surgery may not be recommended. If surgery is recommended it is still your decision whether to have it.

Before you decide, make sure you understand:

  • what are the possible benefits
  • what are the specific risks with this type of surgery
  • whether there are any other options
  • what will happen if you dont have this surgery
  • the likely cost.

Remember not having surgery is always one of your options. Your doctor or surgeon should be happy to arrange a second opinion if you want one.

You Might Need To See An Orthopedic Specialist For Joint Pain If:

  • You have joint pain that started after an injury
  • Your joint pain is so severe it is limiting function or daily activities
  • You have moderate to advanced arthritis
  • Your hip or knee pain has become progressively worse and worse while bearing weight
  • Your previous or current treatment for joint pain was unsuccessful

If you are experiencing joint pain and have questions about what doctor you should see for treatment, please feel free to contact us. Wed be happy to help point you in the right direction for proper treatment.

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What Happens At The First Appointment With A Rheumatologist

At the first appointment, your rheumatologist will likely order a battery of tests from extensive blood tests to X-rays to help identify and rule out the potential causes of your symptoms.

“Most systemic autoimmune conditions are associated with elevated inflammatory markers, so blood tests can give us a clear idea of what’s happening in the body and make a diagnosis,” says Dr. Ganti.

In some cases, however, the cause of systemic symptoms can’t always be identified via blood work.

“Fibromyalgia, in particular, is a diagnosis of exclusion,” explains Dr. Ganti. “These are people who present with generalized, chronic joint pain but their inflammatory workup comes back negative making it more of a clinical diagnosis than one based on blood work.”

What Type Of Doctor Specializes In Hands

What Type Of Doctor Should I See For Arthritis Pain


Hands are among the most delicate structures in the human body, filled with a complex network of fine bones, tendons, nerves and blood vessels. Its exceptionally difficult to lead a normal life when your hands cant function due to deformity, injury or debilitating illness. These medical conditions are treated by two kinds of doctors: orthopedic surgeons and plastic surgeons.

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Delays In Getting Diagnosed With Psoriatic Arthritis Are All Too Common Knowing What To Expect May Help Speed Up The Process

If your shoes are feeling tighter than usual or youre having difficulty or pain opening jars, a type of autoimmune disorder called psoriatic arthritis could be to blame. PsA is an inflammatory arthritis linked to psoriasis . It is characterized by pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints although these general arthritis symptoms can take on specific characteristics when they are caused by psoriatic arthritis

As with many conditions, early diagnosis and prompt treatment are important. If you put off seeing the doctor, there are two major concerns with a delayed psoriatic arthritis diagnosis, says Bharat Kumar, MD, Associate Rheumatology Fellowship Program Director at University of Iowa Health Care and member of the American College of Rheumatology.

First, he explains, disease activity may worsen and cause lasting joint damage. Second, PsA is linked to a higher rate of heart disease, so the sooner youre diagnosed the quicker you can address cardiovascular factors like high cholesterol and hypertension. Rheumatologists are eager to see anyone with psoriasis who is also experiencing joint pain, Dr. Kumar says.

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When To Call Your Doctor

You have good reason to make an appointment with your doctor if any of these joint symptoms last three days, or you experience several episodes of these symptoms within a month, says orthopedic surgeon Dennis Brown, MD. Symptoms include:

  • Pain, tenderness or stiffness in one or more joints. Particularly first thing in the morning or after rest
  • Joint pain that is worse. Particularly in hips, knees and lower back after activity or at days end
  • Swollen joints. Especially after extended activity
  • Limited range of joint motion or stiffness that goes away after movement.
  • Difficulty moving a joint or doing common, daily activities.
  • Keep in mind that joint symptoms tend to come on gradually not suddenly. But when the signs of osteoarthritis begin to limit your daily activities, its time to take action and call your doctor.

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    When To See Your Doctor For Arthritis

    If you suspect that you have arthritis, or if youre dealing with pain you cant shake, its a good idea to check in with your doctor, Dr. Patel says. Its always good to see a physician if its something youre not sure about, he says. A lot of times, we see someone come in with what they think is arthritis and it ends up being a meniscal tear or something.

    If youre not sure if you need to see a doctor, Dr. Patel recommends seeking help if youve had the pain for more than a month or if the pain is unbearable.

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    Why Do People With Arthritis Have Joint Surgery

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    Most types of surgery for arthritis are performed to:

    • relieve severe pain that has not responded to other treatments
    • improve movement and use of a joint, for example improve flexibility of your hip to allow you to walk and sit more comfortably
    • improve alignment of joints, for example straighten finger joints to allow you to grip and hold objects.

    This can help make daily activities easier and improve your quality of life.

    All surgery has risks. Make sure you understand the possible risks, their likelihood and their consequences before you decide to have surgery.

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    Joint Pain Or Swelling It Could Be Arthritis Regardless Of Your Age

    Youve noticed that your joints seem swollen and a bit painful. They might even be a bit stiff. But youre too young for arthritis, so it must be something else, right? Not exactly.Arthritis can happen to anyone at any age, regardless of gender or race, says Linwood T. Joyner II, M.D., a family medicine physician with Riverside Eastern Shore Family Medicine. More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. In the U.S., arthritis is the leading cause of disability. Dr. Joyner explains the different types of arthritis, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and when to see a doctor.

    When You Know You Have The Right Match

    Traci Lynn Martin, a neonatal ICU nurse and expedition kayaker from Lees Summit, Missouri, found out she had rheumatoid arthritis, she went to a few rheumatologists before she found the right chemistry.

    The first person I saw I didnt like, Martin says, because I didnt feel like he was listening to me. He had a formula with questions and it wasnt personalized. It was important for me to stay active, to be able to do my triathlons, and long distance kayaking that I had done my whole life.

    Friends referred her to other specialists, but she knew right away when she found the right rheumatologist. He sits down and doesnt rush in and out and doesnt leave the room until I am happy, Martin says. I walked out of there so happy after the first visit, I felt like I had someone who was listening to me for the first time since my diagnosis.

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    Hand Surgeon In San Antonio Texas

    At the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, our hand surgery team diagnoses and treats a broad range of hand injuries and conditions, including arthritis.

    Our extensive education and training enable us to treat the most complex hand issues. For any type of hand or wrist pain and injury, call the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine at 692-7400 or request an appointment now. We are happy to provide you the highest quality care for your hand condition.

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    Knee Pain Treatment At Home

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    If you develop knee pain that was not caused by a , and there is no visible deformity of the knee joint, you can try treating it at home. To care for your knee pain at home:

    • Apply ice to the top of the knee for 15 minutes at a time, alternating with 15 minutes of no ice. Be sure to place a towel or other barrier between your skin and the ice pack to avoid injuring your skin.

    • Elevate the knee on cushions to reduce any minor swelling. You also can sleep with a pillow under your knees to see if it helps the pain.

    • Rest the knee by avoiding any activities that cause pain including bearing weight. If you think the pain is from repetitive activity, try alternating your activities, such as swimming for a few weeks instead of running.

    • Take an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium .

    • Wear a compression sleeve for a few days to provide support to the knee joint.

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    What Qualifications Do Rheumatologists Have

    As physicians specializing in rheumatology , rheumatologists are medical professionals who have first obtained a bachelors degree, then completed medical school, and, after that, gone on to perform their residency, training in internal medicine or, if at a child hospital, in pediatrics.

    Once their residency is completed, student rheumatologists must then undergo further specialized training through a rheumatology fellowship. This is usually an additional two to three year training period and is meant to provide a strong rheumatology foundation for the soon-to-be attending physician.

    After completion of their education and fellowship, the student must then pass a certification exam to officially become a board certified rheumatologist. Once certified, the new rheumatology attending may begin offering treatment on their own.

    They may do this by opening an individual rheumatology practice, by joining other established rheumatology practitioners, or by working for a hospital which has a rheumatology division, such as Brigham and Womens Hospital in Massachusetts or Detroit Medical Centers Division of Pediatric Rheumatology, located in Michigan.

    Rheumatologists must also undergo annual continuing medical education courses and ongoing training to keep their skills and knowledge of rheumatologic diseases current and up to date. One of the main providers of these types of trainings and educational classes is the American College of Rheumatology.

    When To Seek Treatment For Signs Of Arthritis

    If unexplained joint pain persists or worsens, it is time seek the experience of a trained medical professional. It is common to begin the treatment process by making an appointment with a primary care physician, who may refer the patient to an arthritis specialist, called a rheumatologist.

    A physician may recommend using arthritis pain relief creams, such as JointFlex, oral medications, joint injections, or perhaps weight reduction based upon the early warning signs of arthritis. However, its important to remember that a prompt diagnosis can help preserve joint function and mobility for many years to come.

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    Causes Of Spinal Arthritis

    Spinal arthritis is typically the result of years of wear and tear that has caused deterioration of the joints and cartilage along the spine. Regrettably, we still do not know exactly why this happens. Even those who have taken good care of themselves are at risk of developing osteoarthritis of the spine.

    However, there are several risk factors that may make you more susceptible to spinal arthritis:

    • Spinal trauma or injury
    • Other conditions such as diabetes, Lyme disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gout, psoriasis, or tuberculosis

    Osteoarthritis Of The Spine

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    Osteoarthritis is the most common form of spinal arthritis. It usually affects the lower back and develops through wear and tear. As the cartilage between the joints slowly breaks down, it leads to inflammation and pain. Because the pain is from mechanical damage, it is typically more noticeable when you bend or twist your back. Past back injuries may also contribute to the development of degenerative arthritis of the spine.

    Osteoarthritis of the spine usually affects the facet joints between the vertebrae. It is also known as facet joint arthritis, facet joint syndrome and facet disease. In some cases, degeneration of the spinal discs may contribute to facet joint arthritis. As discs between the vertebrae become thinner, more pressure is transferred to the facet joints. This leads to more friction and more damage to the cartilage.

    When these degenerative changes occur in the neck, this condition is called cervical spondylosis. Arthritis in the neck doesnât always cause pain, and many people have no noticeable symptoms.

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    What Kind Of Doctor Treats Arthritis And Gout: You Have To Know This

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    These Doctors May Be Your Doctor For Life

    Some specialists consult on your diagnosis and treatment plan, then send you back to your primary care doctor for most follow-up care. Not true for rheumatologists.

    After making sure we have the right diagnosis, we obtain the appropriate lab work to make sure youre safe starting medication, and then see you every two to three months. Some people require less frequent follow-up, but we typically see patients more than their primary care doctors. In fact, we might become their primary care doctors, says rheumatologist Liana Fraenkel, MD, MPH, adjunct professor of medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine.

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    Arthritis Treatment In Orthopedic Clinics

    There are a lot of the ways doctors at orthopedic clinics work together to find you relief. Here are some of the treatments that are used to treat arthritis symptoms and slow the conditions progression. Most patients require a combination of at least 2 of these treatments for effective and long-term results.

  • Physical Therapy. Exercise can improve your range of motion and strengthen muscles around damaged joints. This method is often combined with medications and surgery for effective results.
  • Medications. Doctors may prescribe medications to manage pain and inflammation in affected joints. Some drugs used for arthritic pain are:
  • Over-the-counter painkillers
  • Biologic response modifiers
  • Corticosteroids
  • PRP Therapy. Instead of simply alleviating pain, the main objective of PRP therapy is to heal your tissue. It is recommended when other forms of treatment are not effective.
  • Surgery. If therapy and medication do not alleviate pain and reduce inflammation, surgery may be the way to go.
  • Arthroscopy This procedure is used for both the diagnosis and treatment of joint problems. It lets orthopedic surgeons see the inside your joint without making large incisions. They can also repair joint damage through additional small incisions. This is most commonly performed on the knees, shoulders, elbows, ankles, hips, and wrists.
  • Joint replacement In this procedure, the damaged joint is replaced with artificial pieces. This is most commonly done on the hips and knees.
  • Do Dermatologists And Rheumatologists Ever Work Together

    Pin on Help With Your Arthritis
    • Combined rheumatology-dermatology clinics are a newer frontier in the treatment of psoriatic arthritis, with just over 20 clinics in the United States
    • Depending on the clinic, some rheumatologists and dermatologists may see a patient at the same time in the same room. Sometimes, separate back-to-back visits are required
    • Studies show this combined care approach could achieve better outcomes for both skin and musculoskeletal symptoms
    • A survey from the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Clinic Multicenter Advancement Network found over 80% of doctors thought a combined clinic accelerated an accurate diagnosis
    • Challenges are largely related to scheduling and billing

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    Swelling Thats Worsening After 48 Hours

    The first thing that can happen after an acute injury is swelling around the site of the injury.

    When the knee is injured, it can swell as a result of inflammation or possibly bleeding into the knee joint. This swelling can causes pain and loss of motion, which limits the use of the knee.

    Swelling is usually obvious and can be seen, but occasionally you may just feel as though something is swollen even though it looks normal. Often swelling peaks around 24 to 48 hours after an injury. If swelling is still getting worse after 48 hours, you should seek medical attention.

    Swelling within a joint can also cause pain and stiffness. It may sometimes lead to a clicking sound as the tendons snap over one another after having been pushed into a new position from the swelling.

    If the knee looks deformed or misaligned, dont delay in seeking treatment. It could be a sign of a fracture or dislocation. These injuries should be evaluated and addressed in a timely fashion to address the source of injury and prevent long term effects.

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