What is Rheumatology?

Rheumatology is a medical sub-specialty which deals with bone, joint and connective tissue disorders. Most of these disorders are autoimmune in nature i.e., an individual’s immune system affects his/her own tissues and organs.

Rheumatologists are physicians managing these disorders with medicines, injections and exercises.

Department of Rheumatology

Common Diseases Treated

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis/spondyloarthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Gout
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteoarthritis

Less Common Diseases Treated

  • SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus/lupus)
  • Systemic sclerosis/mixed connective tissue disease
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Vasculitis (e.g., Takayasu’s arteritis, ANCA vasculitis, etc.)
  • Sarcoidosis

When to Visit a Rheumatologist?

  • Pain and/or early morning stiffness in multiple joints (rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Low back pain and early morning stiffness (spondyloarthritis)
  • Any non-traumatic bone or joint pain
  • High uric acid with joint pain (gout)
  • Fracture after a trivial or minor fall (fracture due to osteoporosis)
  • Young females with fever, joint pains, oral ulcers and excessive hair loss (lupus/SLE)
  • Non-healing ulcer in legs (vasculitis)
  • Recurrent red eye or eye inflammation
  • Dry mouth and dry eyes (Sjogren’s syndrome)
  • Color change (white/blue) in fingers on cold exposure (Raynaud’s phenomenon)
  • Recurrent miscarriages/recurrent blood clots (anti-phospholipid antibody syndrome)

Common Investigations

  • Hemogram with ESR
  • C-reactive protein
  • Serum uric acid
  • Rheumatoid factor & anti-CCP
  • Anti-nuclear antibody
  • Anti-neutrophilic cytoplasmic antibody
  • HLA-B27/B51
  • Anti-phospholipid antibodies
  • 25-OH vitamin D levels, calcium, phosphorus
  • X-ray/ultrasound/MRI/DXA SCAN

“One-stop care for rheumatic diseases at Kauvery Hospital.”
“As we have a qualified rheumatologist, physician assistant, physiotherapy, laboratory investigations, imaging (x-ray, MRI), pharmacy, intra-articular injections, day-care biologic infusions and in-patient care for the management of ill patient.”

Dr. S. Sham

Dr. S. Sham
Consultant - Rheumatologist
Kauvery Hospital Chennai

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