What does rheumatology deal with?
It deals with diseases of the musculoskeletal system, bones, joints and the surrounding muscles, tendons and tendon sheaths due to overload, abnormal use and age-related changes, as well as inflammatory diseases of the joints.
What happens during a rheumatological examination?
After recording a detailed medical history, we map the patient’s condition by visual examination, touching, and performing a special physical examination.
How do we make a diagnosis?
If necessary, X-rays, articular ultrasound, C, MRI, bone scintigraphy, bone density measurement, and laboratory tests will help clarify the diagnosis. The tests are mostly performed at Emineo Private Hospital, and our colleagues help organize them.
Other specialists are also available to our patients: it is also possible to consult a neurologist, dermatologist, or gastroenterologist.
What diseases does a rheumatologist cure?
So-called degenerative spinal diseases due to articular cartilage damages in the spine
The most common complaint is lower back pain, which hinders patients from continuing their normal life. The pain may go away and then reappear. If moderate to severe pain persists, a detailed examination is required. In the event of sudden pain causing severe difficulty walking, specialist care can allow for rapid pain relief.
Diseases of the hips, knees and small joints of the hands caused by cartilage damages
Cartilage damage diseases due to age or increased effort can be asymptomatic for a long time. It is not necessarily the pain that causes difficulty, but the crackling and the narrowing of daily activity. It is important to have an accurate physical and radiological assessment, manage any pain, follow special physiotherapy, and thus improve motor functions, use cartilage metabolism boosters regularly, and have an annual specialist check-up.
So-called soft tissue diseases
These include tenosynovitis and bursitis due to overload, overwork, and poor posture, as well as pain caused by muscle tension. Most of them disappear on their own after rest, icing, and the use of painkiller gels, but if they persist for 2-3 weeks, only other treatments can help.
Bone metabolism diseases
Bone densities should be measured in women and men over the age of 50 to rule out osteoporosis.
Inflammatory articular diseases
The most common is gout, a sudden inflammation of the foot or ankle with great pain. Separate therapy is used to rapidly reduce pain and inflammation caused by attacks, and long-term medication to prevent attacks.
So-called inflammatory articular diseases affecting several joints
Rheumatoid arthritis mainly affects women and starts between 40-50 years of age. In part, genetic predisposition, smoking, periodontal disease, and inflammatory foci in the body predispose to the development of the disease. The disease process begins with inflammation of the articular membrane, followed by inflammatory changes in the articular cartilage and bones, deformity of the hands, feet, and knee, difficulty walking, dry eyes, difficulty breathing, coronary heart disease, and articular inflammation may be associated with chest pain. Accurate diagnosis, rapid check-up, inflammation management, base therapy initiation, and lifestyle changes are important.
Inflammatory lower back and joint pain associated with skin and intestinal diseases
Special biological therapy is often needed to stop the disease from progressing. However, these can only be used is in specialized Arthritis Centers, so in such case, the patient is referred to such an institution. In this case, we can still provide routine everyday care as well as laboratory and clinical monitoring at our clinic.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
SLE begins between the ages of 20 and 30 and mainly affects young women. In addition to inherited factors, certain drugs and environmental factors (sun exposure, hormonal effects, certain viral infections) can trigger pathological autoimmune processes, causing a number of articular and internal organ inflammations. In addition to joint pain, it can start with fever, subfebrility, photosensitivity of the skin, and hair loss.
Increased blood coagulation associated with the disease can also cause thrombosis and spontaneous abortions. Involvement of the central nervous system may be indicated by epilepsy-like seizures and disturbance of consciousness. Autoimmune inflammation of the kidneys causes kidney failure.
The diagnosis and medical treatment of the disease should be performed in a national institution with an internal medicine department. With the use of modern biological therapy, the activity of the disease can be reduced.
Progressive systemic sclerosis (PSS)
This disease is associated with the inflammation and connective-tissue degeneration of the joints, the skin, the blood vessels, the lungs, the salivary glands, and the esophagus. The disease may start with diffuse swelling of the small joints of the hand and skin thickening, opening the mouth becomes difficult, accumulation of connective tissue presents in the ear, nose, lungs, and the coronary arteries of the heart, causing severe internal organ symptoms.
Inflammatory spinal diseases (SPA, SNSA)
The most common syndrome is that lower back pain begins below the age of 45, lasts for more than 3 months, and wakes the patient up at dawn. Complaints are reduced during movement and working. Nonsteroidal analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs rapidly improve the patient’s condition, but the pain returns within 48 hours after discontinuation of the drug. Inflammatory spinal diseases are often accompanied by inflammation in the hips, knees, and shoulders, swelling of some fingers or toes (this is called sausage finger), heel inflammation, psoriasis, ocular inflammation as well as inflammatory diseases of the small and large intestine. The disease is partly inherited. Establishing an early diagnosis, monitoring disease activity, and initiating biologic therapy if necessary, can lead to the rapid cessation of symptoms and rapid improvement in daily activity. The initiation of biological therapy required in more severe cases is only possible in specialized Arthritis Centers, but routine everyday care, laboratory and clinical monitoring can be provided at Emineo Private Hospital. An essential part of therapy is the learning and daily practice of special physiotherapy, which our physiotherapists help to learn.
How does a rheumatologist cure?
Mainly with painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, topical injections, infusion therapies or articular hyaluronic acid fillings, MD medical collagen therapy, as well as electrotherapy treatments and physical therapy, but physiotherapy also plays a key role. We can also provide our patients with stress-relieving, posture-improving and pain-relieving medical device. If the patient’s condition does not improve with conservative treatment either, they may consult with our hospital’s orthopedic surgeons or spinal surgeon about possible surgical solutions available at Emineo Private Hospital.
What happens in a personal consultation?
In addition to the personal interview, the rheumatologist of Emineo Private Hospital physically examines the patient, and then, if necessary, requests that laboratory and imaging examinations (ultrasound, X-ray) for more accurate diagnosis.
Introduction of video consultation
Even in the epidemiological situation related to the coronavirus, we endeavor to resolve the complaints of our patients and reduce their pain. To this end, we have launched our video consultation service, in which our specialists are at our patients’ service on-line.