Rheumatology at USA Health
Our rheumatologists diagnose, evaluate and treat patients with rheumatic diseases such as arthritis, which affects your joints and connective tissue. Most, but not all, rheumatic diseases are autoimmune conditions in which your body’s immune system attacks your own tissue.
Our rheumatologists are experts in caring for a variety of rheumatic diseases including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, spondyloarthropathy (arthritis affecting the spine), gout and scleroderma.
Gout is a complex type of arthritis characterized by painful swelling, redness and tenderness in the joints, often at the base of the big toe. It occurs from high levels of uric acid in your blood that can be caused by diets rich in meat or seafood, high alcohol consumption, obesity or certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
Lupus is another autoimmune disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks, not just the tissues around your joints, but tissues throughout your body. There is no cure for lupus, but it can be managed with medication.
Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on joints. Over time, the cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down, resulting in pain, stiffness and swelling. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint but is most common in hands, hips, spine and knees. Treatment depends on the affected joint and can include medication and physical therapy.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks the lining of your joints, causing pain and swelling. Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis includes medication, physical therapy and surgery.
Spondyloarthropathy is the term used for several forms of arthritis that affect the spine and joints near the spine such as shoulders and hips. We aren’t yet sure what causes spondyloarthropathy, though research indicates some types may have a genetic connection. Treatment for spondyloarthropathy includes medication and physical therapy.
Scleroderma is a condition in which your body produces too much collagen, which causes the connective tissue in and around your joints to become hard and thick. This causes pain and swelling in the affected joints. Treatments include medication, physical therapy and surgery.