Rheumatic disease consists of more than 100 conditions, including all forms of arthritis (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis), certain autoimmune disease (e.g., systemic lupus), musculoskeletal pain disorders and osteoporosis. Rheumatic disease can affect virtually any part of the body. They are usually associated with inflammation (swelling and redness), almost always accompanied by pain and have symptoms that can have a profound effect on the ability to perform daily activities.
Rheumatology Services at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center comprises as a multidisciplinary team of experts, including rheumatologists, sports medicine specialists, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, pharmacists, psychologists, social workers, research scientists and other health professionals. Team members collaborate to diagnose, treat and monitor these chronic conditions, and they work with each patient to develop an individualized treatment program.
The rheumatologists at Cedars-Sinai are physicians – usually internists or pediatricians – who have special training and experience in diagnosing and treating these often complex diseases.
Cedars-Sinai world-renowned research scientists are investigating the causes of these conditions in an effort to find better treatments and cures. Patients with rheumatic conditions have an opportunity to participate in clinical trials that are designed to test the effectiveness of promising new approaches to treatment.
Michael Weisman, MD, director of the Division of Rheumatology, observes that ankylosing spondylitis is difficult to detect, especially in its early stages when it appears like many other ailments; by the time it is diagnosed, nothing can be done. Little is known about this form of spinal arthritis, which afflicts as many as 2.4 million Americans, striking many in the prime of their lives.