Do Rheumatologists Treat Osteoarthritis?
A rheumatologist is a physician who has specialized skills and training in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions and systemic autoimmune conditions, which can affect the joints, bones and muscles throughout the body. Many of these conditions are highly complex and continually evolve, making them challenging to diagnose and treat. Therefore, specialist care can be very beneficial.
One of the most common conditions treated by rheumatologists is osteoarthritis. This chronic type of “wear and tear” arthritis progresses gradually over time, causing joint pain and stiffness due to:
- A breakdown of cartilage, which cushions the ends of the bones in a joint
- Bony changes in a joint
- Inflammation of joint lining tissue (synovium)
- The deterioration of tendons and ligaments
What Can a Rheumatologist Do for Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a lifetime condition that cannot be cured or reversed. Therefore, the goals of treatment are to relieve pain and improve joint function. To accomplish this, a rheumatologist can recommend a personalized treatment plan, which may include:
- Weight loss (if appropriate) – Every pound of excess body weight increases the stress on arthritic joints, especially the knees and hips.
- Physical therapy – Targeted exercises can strengthen the muscles that support a degenerated joint and shift away some of the weight burden.
- Hot/cold therapy – A heating pad or ice pack can be applied to a painful joint as needed to enhance comfort.
- Medications – Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, can be taken to reduce pain and inflammation. A stronger prescription narcotic may be recommended to address severe pain that does not respond to over-the-counter remedies.
- Joint injections – A powerful anti-inflammatory medication (corticosteroid) or lubricant (hyaluronic acid) can be injected directly into an arthritic joint.
- Surgery – A surgical procedure, such as an arthroscopic repair or joint replacement, may be considered to address severe joint damage or loss of function.
If you are living with osteoarthritis, take advantage of the collective expertise of the physicians at Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Houston, TX. Our practice integrates outstanding medical care and comprehensive services. Contact us to schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist today.
To request an appointment, please enter the information on the form on the right and press the “Continue” button to start the appointment request process.
1Professional Building II At North Cypress Medical Center
AOSM Physical Therapy
2North Cypress Professional Building At Lakewood Crossing
AOSM Physical Therapy
3North Cypress Professional Building At Towne Lake
4Advanced Orthopaedics Memorial
What Our Patients Are Saying
We’ve seen several of these drs. Different family members with different issues. They have been exceptional in both the operating procedures and the follow ups.
The surgery done by Dr. S. Patel (Actually injections) & the mild medications she has prescribed has surely made my lower back -hip-leg less painful.
I’ve been with this orthopedic group since 2014. I’ve never had a bad experience with the doctors or the staff. Dr. Drew Fehsenfeld did my shoulder surgery in 2016 and he did great!
Dr. Ryan Blalock is AMAZING! He went above and beyond to fix my 8 year old son’s severely broken arm with emergency surgery.
Thanks for the help on strengthening my legs after the back surgery, There was no pain shooting down the back of my legs after surgery. I am recovering well with no pain medications after seven days.
Dr. Matthew Cubbage is absolutely the best Spinal Specialist in the area. After 2 successful surgeries by Dr. Cubbage myself, I have recommended him to Family & Friends and we have all had great experiences
Excellent care and attention to patients. I recently had a total hip replacement and I am able to walk 6 weeks after surgery with no cane.
Everyone here is so professional and kind. Everything was explained to me so that could understand what had to be done.
It has been eight weeks since my partial knee replacement and now I realized just how much I was missing. Having it done has made such a difference to my life. For a start my leg is now straight and my knees actually touch!
When I started, I couldn’t put any weight on my right leg and now I can do virtually anything. While I hope to not need future therapy, this is without a doubt the place I will return to in the future.