Rheumatologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases, which are conditions that affect the joints, muscles, bones, and connective tissues. Some common rheumatic diseases include arthritis, lupus, and osteoporosis.
Rheumatologists use a variety of methods to diagnose and treat rheumatic diseases, including:
Orthopedic surgeons specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system, which includes the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Some common orthopedic conditions include:
Orthopedic surgeons use a variety of methods to diagnose and treat orthopedic conditions, including:
Differences between rheumatologists and orthopedists
The main difference between rheumatologists and orthopedists is that rheumatologists focus on the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases, while orthopedists focus on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system.
Rheumatologists are more likely to use medication and physical therapy to treat rheumatic diseases, while orthopedists are more likely to use surgery to treat diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system.
However, there is some overlap between the two specialties. For example, both rheumatologists and orthopedists may treat arthritis. However, a rheumatologist is more likely to treat arthritis with medication and physical therapy, while an orthopedist is more likely to treat arthritis with surgery.
When to see a rheumatologist or orthopedist
If you are experiencing pain, swelling, or stiffness in your joints, muscles, bones, or connective tissues, you should see a doctor. Your doctor can help you determine if you need to see a rheumatologist or an orthopedist.
If you have a rheumatic disease, such as arthritis or lupus, you will need to see a rheumatologist regularly for monitoring and treatment.
If you have an orthopedic condition, such as a fracture or sports injury, you may need to see an orthopedic surgeon for treatment.
I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have any other questions.