What is rheumatology?
Rheumatology is an area of medicine dedicated to treating joint pain diseases. This includes disorders of the bone, joint, muscles and the immune system. Examples include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, lupus and gout. Additionally, rheumatology encompasses individual areas of pain including bursitis and tendonitis.
What is a rheumatologist? A rheumatologist is an internist who has additional training and experience in diagnosing and treating arthritis and other diseases of the joints, muscles and bones. Generally rheumatologists have at least 5 years of additional training after medical school.
What is arthritis? Arthritis is a general term that means pain, swelling or deformity of joints. This encompasses more than 100 different disorders. Some types are mild and limited. Others are severe and chronic. This is why it’s so important to make the correct diagnosis. Each type of arthritis is managed differently.
Do you use the latest treatments? Yes, we are constantly learning from the latest research how to best treat rheumatologic diseases. Our physicians use the most innovative approaches in Texas.
What is musculoskeletal ultrasound? The same technology that looks at an unborn baby in the womb is now being looked at joints and related structures. Our physicians are now using this innovative technology to diagnose and treat arthritis-related diseases.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disease affecting middle-age and older people. It is characterized by progressive damage to the joint cartilage—the slippery material at the end of long bones—and causes changes in the structures around the joint. These changes can include fluid accumulation, bony overgrowth, and loosening and weakness of muscles and tendons, all of which may limit movement and cause pain and swelling. The most common areas affected are the hands, knees, hips and spine. A rheumatologist uses medications, injections and other non-surgical therapies to treat osteoarthritis.
What is rheumatoid arthritis? RA is a chronic disease that causes pain, stiffness, swelling (usually in a symmetrical pattern), and limitation in the motion and function of multiple joints. Though joints are the principal body parts affected by RA, inflammation can develop in other organs as well. The stiffness seen in active RA is typically worse in the morning and may last anywhere from one to two hours to the entire day. We’ve seen incredible advancements in treatment during the last few years.
What is lupus? Systemic lupus erythematosus (also called SLE or lupus) is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, lungs, nervous system, and/or other organs of the body. The most common symptoms include skin rashes and arthritis, often accompanied by fatigue and fever. It is thought to be an auto-immune disease where the body attacks itself. Lupus varies from mild to severe, and typically involves alternating periods of remission and relapse.
What is gout?
Gout is a painful and potentially disabling form of arthritis that has been recognized since ancient times. Initial symptoms usually consist of intense episodes of painful swelling in single joints, most often in the feet (especially the big toe) but also in other joints. Treatments are now available to control most cases of gout, but diagnosing this disorder can be difficult. The characteristic laboratory abnormality is an elevated uric acid level.
What is osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is a silent disease of the bones that makes them weakened and prone to fracture. The disease is “silent” because there are no symptoms when you have osteoporosis, and the condition may come to attention only after you break a bone. When you have osteoporosis, this can occur even after a minor injury, such as a fall. The most common fractures occur at the spine, wrist and hip. The goal of treating osteoporosis is to prevent such fractures in the first place. Many new treatments have been developed in recent years.
What is tendonitis?
Tendonitis is inflammation of the tendon, which is a cord-like structure located where a muscle narrows down to join a bone. It can be treated with ice, therapy, medications and injections.
What is bursitis? Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa, a small sac that acts as a cushion or pad between moving structures (bones, muscles, tendons or skin). There are bursas located throughout the body, most commonly in the hips and shoulders. Injections are usually the best treatment for bursitis.
Do you accept most insurance plans? Yes, we accept 90 percent of insurance plans in East Texas. Call our office to verify your specific plan. Also, we are happy to accept Medicare patients.
Do you require a physician referral? No. However, some insurance plans require you to get a physician referral.
Can I e-mail the office? Not at this time. However, you can hear a friendly live person every time you call Texas Arthritis during business hours.
Do you offer secondopinions? Yes. We would be happy to evaluate your individual case and make recommendations based on our many years of experience.
Do you offer MRI Services? Yes. Sometimes MRI can be the best way to see if arthritis has caused bone damage.
Do you see patients outside of the Tyler and Longview areas?
Yes. In fact, we see patients from Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Our large area of referrals includes such cities as Canton, Sulphur Springs, Greenville, Mt. Pleasant, Paris, Texarkana, Marshall, Carthage, Nacogdoches, Lufkin, Jacksonville, Henderson, Kilgore, Palestine, Athens, Corsicana as well as Dallas and Houston suburbs.