Rheumatic diseases are conditions that affect the bones, joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons. Many of these are caused by autoimmune disorders, which involve malfunctions of the body’s immune system. These conditions can make it hard to enjoy the activities you love without treatment.
Ochsner Lafayette General Rheumatology specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal and rheumatic disorders. These diseases can cause inflammation in the connective tissues of other parts of the body and affect adults and children of all ages.
Why Choose Ochsner Lafayette General Rheumatology?
Ochsner Lafayette General Rheumatology will work to identify what rheumatic disease you may have after a thorough examination and testing process. Once we’ve identified your condition, you’ll work closely with your rheumatology care team on a treatment plan that is customized for you and your unique needs.
If you have persistent aches and pains recurring for more than a few weeks, if the pain interferes with normal everyday activities or if your condition is worsening despite treatment, you should see a rheumatologist. The complexity of rheumatic diseases makes early diagnosis and treatment important to your comfort and long-term health. The specialized care of an Ochsner rheumatologist may be able to save you time and money while providing more effective treatment.
Rheumatic diseases are a group of more than 100 disorders causing arthritis in the joints and similar pain and stiffness in the muscles and bones. Your treatment plan may include:
- Medications, including anti-inflammatory drugs, pain medications and biologics (specialized medications that can target areas of the immune system that cause inflammation and damage)
- Physical and occupational therapy
Conditions We Treat
Various forms of arthritis are some of the most common forms of rheumatic conditions we treat in our patients. These include:
- Osteoarthritis (OA): results from breakdowns in joint cartilage
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): occurs when the body’s immune system attacks joint tissues
- Gout, a buildup of uric acid crystals that causes painful joint swelling, often located in the big toe or other parts of the foot
- Psoriatic arthritis (PsA): a form of arthritis linked to psoriasis (a chronic skin disease) that involves the body’s immune system attacking both joint tissues and the skin
- Ankylosing spondylitis (AS): involves the body’s immune system attacking joints in the spine
In addition, we treat other rheumatic conditions that are not related to arthritis, such as:
- Tendinitis: (also commonly written as “tendonitis”), which involves inflammation and injury to the tendons that connect muscles to bones
- Lupus: an immune disorder that involves the immune system attacking healthy tissues throughout the body
- Scleroderma: a chronic condition in which the skin and tissues thicken and harden because of the body’s overproduction of collagen, a protein in the skin. Our team has been recognized nationally for our scleroderma treatment and management as part of the Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium
- Myositis: an inflammation of the muscles
- Vasculitis: an inflammation of the blood vessels
Other less common conditions include sarcoidosis and dermatomyositis. While some diseases are very serious and difficult to diagnose and treat, many of these diseases appear in a mild form and respond extremely well to treatment.