A rheumatologist is a physician who specializes in the field of medical sub-specialty called rheumatology. A rheumatologist holds a board certification after specialized training. In the United States, training in this field requires four years of undergraduate school, four years of medical school, and then three years of residency, followed by two or three years of additional Fellowship training. The requirements may vary in other countries. Rheumatologists are internists who are qualified by additional postgraduate training and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and other diseases of the joints, muscles and bones. Many rheumatologists also conduct research to determine the cause and better treatments for these disabling and sometimes fatal diseases. Treatment modalities are based on scientific research, currently, the practice of rheumatology is largely evidence-based.
Rheumatologists treat arthritis, autoimmune diseases, pain disorders affecting joints, and osteoporosis. There are more than 200 types of these diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, lupus, back pain, osteoporosis, and tendinitis. Some of these are very serious diseases that can be difficult to diagnose and treat. They treat soft tissue problems related to the musculoskeletal system, and sports-related soft tissue disorders.
Most rheumatic diseases are treated with analgesics, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug), steroids (in serious cases), DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs), monoclonal antibodies, such as infliximab and adalimumab, the TNF inhibitor etanercept, and methotrexate for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. The biologic agent rituximab (anti-B cell therapy) is now licensed for use in refractory rheumatoid arthritis. Physiotherapy is vital in the treatment of many rheumatological disorders. Occupational therapy can help patients find alternative ways for common movements that would otherwise be restricted by their disease. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis often need a long term, coordinated and a multidisciplinary team approach towards management of individual patients. Treatment is often tailored according to the individual needs of each patient which is also dependent on the response and the tolerability of medications.
Beginning in the 2000s, the incorporation of biopharmaceuticals (which include inhibitors of TNF-alpha, certain interleukins, and the JAK-STAT signaling pathway) into standards of care is one of the paramount developments in modern rheumatology.
Rheumasurgery (or rheumatoid surgery) is a subfield of orthopedics occupied with the surgical treatment of patients with rheumatic diseases. The purpose of the interventions is to limit disease activity, soothe pain, and improve function.
Rheumasurgical interventions can be divided into two groups. The one is early synovectomies, which is the removal of the inflamed synovia to prevent spreading and stop destruction. The other group is the so-called corrective intervention, i.e. an intervention done after the destruction has taken place. Among the corrective interventions are joint replacements, removal of loose bone or cartilage fragments, and a variety of interventions aimed at repositioning and/or stabilizing joints, such as arthrodesis.
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Following are the available services at Al Ihsan Hospital:
- Cardiac surgeon
- Cosmetic Surgeon
- General Surgeon
- Orthopedic Surgeon
- General Physician
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