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Dr. Paula Rackoff answer a question about arthritis.
The group known as "rheumatic diseases" is a varied array of conditions
that affects the body's joints and connective tissues. Many of these diseases
have an "autoimmune" element, meaning that the body attacks its own tissue,
and is typically to blame for the musculoskeletal swelling, distortion
and inflammation associated with rheumatic diseases.
If you need a rheumatologist in Manhattan or the New York City area, Beth
Israel's rheumatologists specialize in all rheumatic diseases, including
gout, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and Lyme Disease, and have extensive
Osteoporosis. In this disease, bones become fragile
and more likely to break, causing pain, disability and deformity. Affecting
mostly postmenopausal women, osteoporosis is treated via diet, exercise
and/or drug therapies. Prevention and research are key components of
the department's program, with public screenings and patient education
playing important roles. Research is also essential. Beth Israel has
been a site for several large national osteoporosis studies, including
the "Women's Health Initiative." Beth Israel offers an exercise class,
Builders, for people with or at risk for osteoporosis. To learn
more about the program click
Vasculitis. This set of autoimmune diseases is characterized
by inflamed blood vessels. Vasculitis can have severe symptoms and can
be life threatening. The department's rheumatologists are recognized
as leaders in the treatment of vasculitis in Manhattan and the New York
City region. Beth Israel is one of only eight centers nationwide selected
for participation in a prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH)
clinical trial in vasculitis.
Systemic lupus. This autoimmune disease, which often
affects young women, has symptoms that vary from joint pain and skin
conditions to possible neurological and kidney malfunction. Quality
of life can be improved with proper therapies and medical management.
Rheumatoid arthritis. One of two main types of arthritis,
rheumatoid arthritis can affect younger people as well as older adults
with inflammation and pain in the hands, arms, legs and feet. Advances
in treatment have enhanced the quality of life for patients.
Scleroderma. The name for this disease means "hard
skin," which describes thickening and tightening of the skin. Scleroderma
can also affect the musculoskeletal system and internal organs. Recently,
Beth Israel's rheumatologists were selected as the only New York area
hospital to participate in a multi-center NIH-funded clinical trial
of a new therapy in scleroderma.
Management and investigation
Because many rheumatic
conditions are chronic, affect multi-organ systems and have no cure, much
of what the department does centers around the medical management of these
complex diseases. At the core of a multidisciplinary team of orthopedic
surgeons, orthopedic physiatrists, physical therapists and other physicians,
rheumatologists seek to provide their patients with symptom relief, pain
management and a slowing of disease progression.
Research is integral to the department's work. Beth Israel rheumatologists
in New York City consistently study and publish in their field, seeking
to discover both more effective treatment and a deeper understanding of
the sometimes mysterious diseases they specialize in.
For a referral to a Beth Israel rheumatologist, call our Physician
Referral Service at