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When Should Rheumatologists Refer Patients for Evaluation by an Orthopedic Surgeon?

Rheumatology Advisor—September 30, 2016

Rheumatology Advisor met with Michael M. Alexiades, MD, hip and knee surgeon at HSS, to discuss the timely referral of patients with inflammatory arthritis who may be candidates for operative intervention.

They report that the collaboration between rheumatologists and orthopedic surgeons can improve outcomes for patients with rheumatic disease. Early referral can help prevent further joint destruction.

In the video interview, Dr. Alexiades points out that "the best rule of thumb for most rheumatologists is if the patient has joint swelling after being treated actively for 3-6 months and the joint is still swollen and has not responded to the disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and or local injections, then they should probably be referred to an orthopedic surgeon."

To watch the whole video interview, please visit RheumatologyAdvisor.com.


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