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Why Rheumatology

Rheumatology is a multidisciplinary branch of medicine that deals with the investigation, diagnosis and management of patients with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. This incorporates over 200 disorders affecting joints, bones, muscles and soft tissues, including inflammatory arthritis and other systemic autoimmune disorders, vasculitis, soft tissue conditions, spinal pain and metabolic bone disease. A significant number of musculoskeletal conditions also affect other organ systems.

Diseases diagnosed or managed by a rheumatologist include: 

Degenerative arthropathies
-- Osteoarthritis

    Inflammatory arthropathies

      -- Rheumatoid arthritis
        -- Spondyloarthropathies
                       - Ankylosing spondylitis
                       - Reactive arthritis (reactive arthropathy)
                       - Psoriatic arthropathy
                       - Enteropathic spondylitis

            -- Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)
              -- Crystal arthropathies: gout, pseudogout
                -- Septic arthritis

                  Systemic conditions and connective tissue diseases

                    -- Lupus
                      -- Sjögren's syndrome
                        -- Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis)
                          -- Polymyositis
                            -- Dermatomyositis
                              -- Polymyalgia rheumatica
                                -- Mixed connective tissue disease
                                  -- Polychondritis
                                    -- Sarcoidosis
                                      -- Vasculitis
                                                     - Microscopic Polyangiitis
                                                     - Churg-Strauss Syndrome
                                                     - Wegener's granulomatosis
                                                     - Polyarteritis nodosa
                                                     - Henoch-Schönlein purpura
                                                     - Serum sickness
                                                     - Giant cell arteritis, Temporal arteritis
                                                     - Takayasu's arteritis
                                                     - Behçet's syndrome
                                                     - Kawasaki's disease (mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome)
                                                     - Buerger's disease (thromboangiitis obliterans)
                                                     - Ehlers Danlos Syndrome

                                        Soft Tissue Rheumatism

                                        Local diseases and lesions affecting the joints and structures around the joints including tendons, ligaments capsules, bursae, stress fractures, muscles, nerve entrapment, vascular lesions, and ganglia. For example:

                                          -- Low back pain
                                            -- Tennis elbow
                                              -- Golfer's elbow
                                                -- Olecranon bursitis