Can an orthopedic doctor help with autoimmune disorders?

Millions of people in the United States are afflicted with autoimmune disorders, which occur when the body attacks its own healthy tissues. Women are affected more than men. Since our joints are the shock absorbers in our bodies, they can be very painful targets of an autoimmune attack.

While autoimmune disorders can be tricky to diagnose and treat at the root, there are ways to relieve or lessen the pain that they cause. Among the most common autoimmune disorders our patients need care for are rheumatoid arthritis and polymyalgia rheumatica, both of which can severely affect the muscles and joints.

Treatment for these and other conditions affecting the bones, muscles, and joints begins by getting the right diagnosis. After that, an orthopedic doctor will work with you to plan a treatment program based on your symptoms and your lifestyle needs. Less severe symptoms may be managed with conservative therapies such as rest, ice or heat, medications, activity changes, injections, or physical therapy. If an autoimmune disease has progressed to a more destructive point, you and your doctor may discuss surgical options to restore or replace damaged or deformed tissue or bone. At any point, we will also be happy to consult with other doctors overseeing your care.

It's our hope that autoimmune disorders will be eradicated soon and also that treatments until then will continue to improve. We want all of our patients to live pain free and be able to do what they love.