Rheumatologists often do chart biopsy to clinch the diagnosis. That being said, any previous rheumatological records are very valuable even if those are labs or XRays or done several years ago. At your initial visit, please bring the following with you:
At your first visit, we perform a detailed history and examination often leading to an extensive blood work and imaging as needed based on the history and exam. Once we have all the results, we bring you in for a detailed discussion of the ongoing plan. Please note, that we also check a detailed infectious work up for most of our patients if there seems to be a need to start DMARDS (high risk rheumatologic medications) to ensure your safety.
If you experience any joint pain which is long lasting, skin rash, Raynaud;s phenomenon, dryness in the eyes or mouth, chronic fatigue, malaise, positive labs such as ANA, RF, CCP, it is recommended to see a Rheumatologist sonner than later. Some of the disease are joint deforming and may also cuase organ damage and any delay in treatment may compromise the disease outcome. If you have any questions or concerns, we will be happy to answer more questions.