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Rheumatology Gems

Dr Loretta Reiter, Rheumatologist gave a detailed overview of the types of conditions that Rheumatologists can assess, noting that they are not surgeons and do not operate on patients, but can essentially evaluate the same type of conditions that an Orthopaedic Surgeon can and more. They can diagnose and identify an appropriate course of treatment, for not only musculoskeletal conditions, but also inflammatory conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome etc.

Due to their physician background and training, they are able to assess a broad range of symptoms and medical conditions in a more holistic manner, to ensure a proper and correct diagnosis, and give consideration to a broad range of potential treatments (including consideration of appropriate medications that might assist) which is not limited to the need for possible surgical treatment.

A Rheumatologist can be particularly helpful if a person’s medical condition and presentation is not straightforward, including those musculoskeletal type conditions that become complex or do not recovery within the normal expected timeframes.

Dr Reiter also provided a detailed insight into the following conditions, including the associated symptoms, treatment options and prognosis:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis    
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The option to SMS questions during the session was provided to attendees. One of the questions was ‘Can Fibromyalgia occur as a secondary condition to trauma?’, to which Dr Reiter stated no, noting a study undertake by Prof Frederick Wolfe, who is a thought leader on the subject of Fibromyalgia, where Prof Wolfe comments on a study that was completed that identified that there isn’t a causal link between whiplash and Fibromyalgia. Dr Reiter made the point that if this is the case with a reasonably traumatic injury like whiplash, how can Fibromyalgia occur as a result of injuries such as a gradual onset musculoskeletal injury that was caused by a sedentary job role.
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