Rheumatology involves the diagnosis and treatment of dozens of conditions relating to the musculoskeletal system, including diseases of the joints, many autoimmune diseases, rheumatism, and inflammatory diseases of the tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles.
At Bassett Healthcare Network, we treat the following types of rheumatic diseases:
- Arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, psoriatic arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, and infectious arthritis
- Autoimmune rheumatic diseases, including lupus and Sjögren’s syndrome
- Collagen disorders, such as scleroderma
- Inflammatory conditions, including ankylosing spondylitis, polymyalgia rheumatica, and polymyositis
- Bone and joint conditions, including bursitis and tendonitis, and other orthopedic disorders
- Vascular conditions, including giant cell arteritis, Raynaud’s syndrome, and vasculitis
Osteoarthritis & Rheumatoid Arthritis
Two of the most common rheumatic diseases are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of cartilage in the joints and surrounding bone that usually occurs in middle age and beyond. Osteoarthritis symptoms include pain and stiffness, most often in the joints of the hip, knee, and thumb. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammation of the joints, especially in the fingers, wrists, feet, and ankles. RA causes pain and can eventually deform and immobilize joints.
Diagnosing & Managing Rheumatic Diseases
The evaluation of rheumatic conditions can be accomplished through a variety of methods, including:
- Arthrocentesis, a painless procedure in which a needle is used to collect a sample of fluid from a joint in order to analyze it in the lab
- Imaging tests, including CT scans, X-rays, and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
- Blood tests to assess rheumatoid factor, autoimmune markers, and inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein
After our specialists have made a diagnosis, the following treatment options are available through Bassett Healthcare Network:
- Assistive devices, such as canes, crutches, walkers, or orthotics
- Exercise therapy to improve strength, endurance, and range of motion
- Medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, pain medicines, and DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs)
- Physical and occupational therapy, including hydrotherapy, therapeutic massage, exercise, and heat or cold therapy
- Surgery, performed by an orthopedic surgeon or other surgical specialist
Get Relief for Your Rheumatic Disease Symptoms
If you experience pain or other symptoms of a joint disorder, autoimmune rheumatic disease, or other rheumatologic disorder, ask your primary care practitioner or specialist to schedule an appointment, or call 1-800-BASSETT for a referral.
Bassett Healthcare Network’s rheumatologists and other joint and pain specialists treat rheumatology disorders in Central New York, including at our hospitals in Herkimer, Oneonta, Cobleskill, and Cooperstown.