Rheumatology is a subspecialty of internal medicine, which deals with the detection, diagnosis, treatment and recovery of patients with non-surgical distress of musculoskeletal system.
The main groups of disorders managed by rheumatology:
- degenerative pathology: osteoarthritis (knee arthritis, osteoarthritis, spondylosis and other places), gout, pseudogout;
- joint and soft tissue pathology, degenerative, linked to overwork: cervical-brachial neuralgia, fibromyalgia, scapulohumeral periarthritis, epicondylitis, tunnel syndromes of the upper and lower member, Dupuytren disease, enthesitis, tenosynovitis, bursitis, capsulitis, reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome;
- joint infection pathology: osteoarticular tuberculosis, Lyme disease (borreliosis), infectious arthritis;
- metabolic pathology: osteoporosis, osteomalacia;
- inflammatory pathology, autoimmune: rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, vasculitis.
The diagnostic means used in rheumatology include: biochemical analysis, immunoassay (autoantibodies) genetic tests, imaging exams (radiographs, musculoskeletal ultrasound, MRI of the articular cartilage), functional tests (electromyogram), joint punction, joint and soft tissue biopsies, measurement of bone density (DEXA bone densitometry).
In most of the cases, the assessment is complex, multidisciplinary, given the systemic, widespread, autoimmune disorders and the presence of many complex medical problems in the affected age group. This evaluation may include consultations in: neurology, orthopedics, rehabilitation, neurosurgery, dermatology, cardiology, pulmonology, psychology, psychiatry, infectious diseases.