If you have been referred to a rheumatologist, you are likely suffering from arthritis or a similar disease. The referral will come from your primary care physician if you have been showing symptoms of arthritis. These symptoms may include swelling, redness, tenderness, rashes, inflammation, or deformities of your joints.
In order to be ready for your first rheumatology appointment, there are some things you need to prepare. First, be sure you have your referral slip from your family doctor. You will need to also bring your insurance cards, driver’s license, and any medical records related to your condition.
You should also make a list of any supplements, prescription medications, or over the counter medications you take including the name, dosage amount, and reason for the medicine. In addition to the list of medications, write down important medical conditions, major surgeries, or chronic issues you have. The rheumatologist will need to create a medical file of his own on your health.
On your first appointment you will need to complete health forms and medical histories. A medical assistance will also take your vital signs. The rheumatologist will then give a physical exam and ask you about your symptoms. You will be asked to perform several range of motion tests.
Depending on the symptoms you are experiencing and the results of the physical examination, the rheumatologist will likely order diagnostic tests including x-rays and blood work to be completed during the first visit. You will likely have to await the results of blood testing but the specialist may be able to go over the x-rays during the first visit and can discuss further treatment recommendations.
Arthritis is a treatable medical condition especially when diagnosed early. Treatment can be affective and can include over the counter medication, therapy, or prescription drugs depending on the nature and severity of the condition.