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The Department of Rheumatology at Aster Hospital deals with the diagnosis and management of various types of arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. Patients with stiffness in the joints and having any sort of confusion in the tissues and bones, including musculo‐skeletal torment can visit a Rheumatologist to preclude joint pain or to get convenient treatment. Aster Hospital has the most inclining imaging equipments like birefringent polarizing microscope, Ultrasonography, C‐Arm and Capillaroscopy to make precise diagnosis.

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Want to find out more about the treatment? The answer to your questions can be found below.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a common disorder that affects joints. It can cause pain and inflammation, making it difficult to move or stay active. This disease is difficult to control because it is caused primarily by increasing age and family history.

What is Total Knee Replacement?

TKR is a common orthopaedic procedure that involves replacing the articular surfaces of the knee joint with smooth metal and polyethylene plastic that has been cross-linked.

Who is a Rheumatologist?

A rheumatologist is a physician, who has received further training in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disease and systemic autoimmune conditions. Apart from the common arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, Rheumatologists are involved in treating complicated multisystem diseases like Vasculitis / SLE etc.

Which facilities are provided by the Department of Rheumatology at Aster Whitefield?

  • State-of-the-art treatment and facilities for a wide range of Rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs).
  • Dedicated Pediatric Rheumatologist to cater the special needs of growing childrens with Rheumatic disorders.
  • A multi-disciplinary team consisting of trained and qualified Rheumatologists, Nurse Educators, and Customer Care Executives.
  • Doctors with national and international expertise, who  are actively involved in research work.   
  • Well-equipped Physiotherapy unit.
  • Latest treatment facilities for outpatient care
  • Collaborative work from leaders in other fields like gynaecology, dermatology, ophthalmology, neurology, radiology, physiotherapy, and others.

Is Rheumatoid arthritis an autoimmune disorder?

Yes, Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease, like any other autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks healthy cells of the body by mistake causing inflammation and pain.

What are the early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis causes swelling and stiffness in the joints. Specifically, early morning stiffness of more than 30 min is an early sign of Inflammatory arthritis.  Later, if untreated  it leads to bone erosion and joint deformity.

Does physiotherapy help in rheumatic diseases/arthritis?

Yes, physiotherapy helps the patient to improve the movement of the joints by removing stiffness. Muscle strengthening and Massage can help reduce pain and improve joint functions for daily activities.

Are rheumatic diseases genetic?

Many forms of rheumatic diseases including arthritis have a genetic basis. It has been found that autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis are there in patients and their families as they share the same susceptibility genes for their immune systems.

Can patients suffering from Rheumatic diseases plan Pregnancy?

Yes, Like any other normal persons, all patients with Rheumatic disease can lead normal reproductive life if they are under care of a Rheumatologist. However patients with Autoimmune rheumatic diseases should always discuss their pregnancy plans with their Rheumatologist prior planning so that the medications can be optimised before planned pregnancy. 

What advancements or technologies are utilized by Rheumatologists?

Rheumatologists utilize advancements such as biologic therapies for autoimmune diseases, advanced imaging techniques (MRI, ultrasound) for early detection of inflammation and damage, and telemedicine for remote patient monitoring and consultations.

What documents to carry on my first visit to a Rheumatologist?

For your first visit, carry:

  • A referral letter from your primary care physician (if applicable).
  • Comprehensive medical records and any relevant test results or imaging studies.
  • A list of current medications.
  • Your insurance information and a photo ID.
  • Any notes on symptoms, dietary habits, lifestyle, or specific questions you have for the rheumatologist.

How should I prepare for my first visit to a Rheumatologist?

To prepare for your first visit:

  • Gather your medical records and any previous test results, including imaging studies.
  • Make a list of all medications you're currently taking.
  • Prepare a detailed description of your symptoms and how they affect your daily life.
  • Write down any questions or concerns you have.
  • Bring a family member or friend for support, if possible.

How does a Rheumatologist decide on a treatment plan?

A rheumatologist decides on a treatment plan based on a comprehensive evaluation that includes a detailed medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests (such as blood tests and imaging studies). They consider factors like the type and severity of the disease, the patient's lifestyle, and their overall health.

What is the role of a Rheumatologist in a patient's treatment journey?

A rheumatologist plays a crucial role in a patient's treatment journey by diagnosing the condition, developing and managing a treatment plan tailored to the patient's needs, monitoring the disease's progression, and adjusting treatments as necessary. They also provide guidance on managing symptoms and improving quality of life.

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

That causes the immune system to damage the cartilage of the joints.

What is Rheumatology?

Rheumatology represents a subspecialty in internal medicine and paediatrics, which is devoted to diagnosis and therapy of rheumatic and musculoskeletal  diseases. Rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) are a diverse group of diseases that commonly affect the joints, but can also affect the muscles, other tissues and internal organs. There are more than 200 different RMDs, affecting both children and adults.

When should I see a Rheumatologist?

All of us experience musculoskeletal pains which are self limiting and short lived. If your pain is not resolving in 1-2 weeks it is better to take an expert opinion. If joint symptoms are associated with following symptoms it is always advised to meet nearby Rheumatologist
1. Systemic symptoms like fever, weight loss, loss of appetite etc.
2. Most severe pain in the morning hours
3. More than 3 joints are involved at the same time
4. Skin rash, abdominal pain

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder  that predominantly affects the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis causes severe pain, swelling and stiffness in your joints, as a result, it becomes difficult to bend and use them. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect other organs too such as the eyes, lungs, heart, or skin.

Is Rheumatoid arthritis different from osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a very common type of arthritis that is caused by wear and tear of the cartilage that covers and protects the bones at the place of joints whereas, in rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks the healthy joints.

Does the rheumatology department at Aster provide physiotherapy to arthritis patients?

There is a well-equipped physiotherapy unit with a team of excellent physiotherapists for the therapeutic management of joint pain and inflammation to bring comfort to the patient through exercise, IFT, Ultrasound, heat, and massage.

Are rheumatic diseases chronic?

Yes, rheumatic diseases are chronic. Many Rheumatic diseases are lifelong, though there are periods of remission when the patient feels better in absence of symptoms. In some patients, rheumatism may damage the skin, heart, eyes lungs, and blood vessels

Do Childrens get Rheumatic Diseases?

Yes! Unfortunately children can also suffer from many of the Rheumatic diseases. We have a dedicated Pediatric Rheumatology team to cater the needs of growing childrens and address their special needs.

Are vaccines safe for patients with Rheumatic diseases? 

Yes, Not only vaccines are safe, they are strongly recommended for patients suffering from Autoimmune rheumatic diseases. The Immune disorder itself along with the drugs used in rheumatology practice make one susceptible for infections, for the same reason it is recommended to take regular vaccines for both adults and paediatric patients with Rheumatic diseases.

Will a Rheumatologist help manage side effects during treatment?

Yes, a rheumatologist will help manage side effects during treatment. They will monitor your condition and adjust the treatment plan as necessary to minimize side effects and ensure the treatment's effectiveness.

What question should you ask a Rheumatologist?

Questions to ask a rheumatologist might include:

  • What is my diagnosis?
  • What treatment options are available?
  • Are there any side effects of the suggested treatments?
  • How will this condition affect my lifestyle?
  • Should I make any dietary or lifestyle changes?
  • How often will I need follow-up visits?

When should I consider seeing a Rheumatologist?

You should consider seeing a rheumatologist if you experience persistent joint pain, swelling, stiffness, or if you have an autoimmune disease that affects the joints or muscles. Early referral from a primary care physician is also common when such symptoms are present.

What are the most common conditions that Rheumatologists treat?

Rheumatologists treat a wide range of conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, osteoarthritis, gout, scleroderma, and spondyloarthropathies like ankylosing spondylitis.

What does a Rheumatologist do?

A rheumatologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing, treating, and managing diseases that affect the joints, muscles, and bones, as well as autoimmune diseases. These conditions often involve inflammation, pain, and chronic discomfort.


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