Rheumatology

Meet Our Specialists

FDRAbout Rheumatology

At Clear Lake Arthritis Clinic, we connect with patients, build solid relationships, and improve outcomes. By taking a personal approach to treatment, our physicians provide the type of individualized care you need. Compassion and understanding is at the forefront of our medical philosophy. Clear Lake Arthritis Clinic strives for excellence in medical care and patient satisfaction.

A rheumatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in arthritis and related diseases. Most often, a patient is referred to a rheumatologist by their primary care physician after presenting with symptoms of arthritis. We also welcome self-referred patients with Arthritis or joint pain.

We Provide Expertise in:
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sjögren’s Syndrome
  • Vasculitis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Connective Tissue Disease
  • Scleroderma
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Polymyositis
  • Bursitis/Tendonitis
  • Paget’s Disease
  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica
FDRInfusion Therapy

Infusion therapy involves the administration of medication through a needle or catheter. It is prescribed when a patient’s condition is so severe that it cannot be treated effectively by oral medications. Typically, “infusion therapy” means that a drug is administered intravenously.

Rheumatic Diseases commonly requiring infusion therapy include Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Lupus, Osteoporosis, and Gastrointestinal diseases. We also provide infusion therapy for some other diseases.

Receiving infusion from our office is very safe, convenient and extremely cost effective for the patient. All infusions are continually monitored by a registered nurse with years of experience and with the presence of an experienced board-certified Rheumatologist.

Our staff will assist each patient with financial assistance and payment arrangements that meet their needs.

Joint Injection
  • What is done during a joint injection?

Joint injections or aspirations (taking fluid out of a joint) usually are performed with a cold spray or other local anesthesia in the office. After the skin surface is thoroughly cleaned, the joint is entered with a needle attached to a syringe. At this point, either joint fluid can be obtained (aspirated) and used for appropriate laboratory testing or medications can be injected into the joint space. This technique also applies to injections into a bursa or tendon sheath to treat bursitis and tendonitis, respectively.

  • What benefit is derived from a joint injection?

Joint injections may decrease the accumulation of fluid in the joint and may temporarily decrease pain and stiffness. They may be given to treat inflammatory joint conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, tendinitis, bursitis and, osteoarthritis.

  • What benefit is derived from a joint aspiration?

Joint aspiration usually is done to help with diagnosis or treatment. Fluid obtained from a joint aspiration can be examined by the physician or sent for laboratory analysis. Drainage of a large joint effusion can provide pain relief and improved mobility. Injection of a drug into the joint may yield complete or short-term relief of symptoms.

  • What usually is injected into the joint space?

Corticosteroids frequently are used. They are anti-inflammatory agents that slow down the accumulation of cells responsible for producing inflammation and pain within the joint space. Hyaluronic acid is a viscous lubricating substance that may relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee for periods up to 6–12 months.

Tips to Keep Your Bones Healthy

Bones play many roles in the body — providing structure, protecting organs, anchoring muscles and storing calcium. While it’s important to build strong and healthy bones during childhood and adolescence, you can take steps during adulthood to protect bone health, too.

Why is bone health important?

Your bones are continuously changing — new bone is made and old bone is broken down. When you’re young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone, and your bone mass increases. Most people reach their peak bone mass around age 30. After that, bone remodeling continues, but you lose slightly more bone mass than you gain.

How likely you are to develop osteoporosis — a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle — depends on how much bone mass you attain by the time you reach age 30 and how rapidly you lose it after that. The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have “in the bank” and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age.

What affects bone health?

A number of factors can affect bone health. For example:

  • The amount of calcium in your diet. A diet low in calcium contributes to diminished bone density, early bone loss and an increased risk of fractures.
  • Physical activity. People who are physically inactive have a higher risk of osteoporosis than do their more-active counterparts.
  • Tobacco and alcohol use. Research suggests that tobacco use contributes to weak bones. Similarly, regularly having more than one alcoholic drink a day for women or two alcoholic drinks a day for men may increase the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Gender. You’re at greater risk of osteoporosis if you’re a woman, because women have less bone tissue than do men.
  • Size. You’re at risk if you are extremely thin (with a body mass index of 19 or less) or have a small body frame because you might have less bone mass to draw from as you age.
  • Age. Your bones become thinner and weaker as you age.
  • Race and family history. You’re at greatest risk of osteoporosis if you’re white or of Asian descent. In addition, having a parent or sibling who has osteoporosis puts you at greater risk — especially if you also have a family history of fractures.
  • Hormone levels. Too much thyroid hormone can cause bone loss. In women, bone loss increases dramatically at menopause due to dropping estrogen levels. Prolonged absence of menstruation (amenorrhea) before menopause also increases the risk of osteoporosis. In men, low testosterone levels can cause a loss of bone mass.
  • Eating disorders and other conditions. People who have anorexia or bulimia are at risk of bone loss. In addition, stomach surgery (gastrectomy), weight-loss surgery, and conditions such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease and Cushing’s disease can affect your body’s ability to absorb calcium.
  • Certain medications. Long-term use of corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone, cortisone, prednisolone and dexamethasone, is damaging to bone. Other drugs that might increase the risk of osteoporosis include aromatase inhibitors to treat breast cancer, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, methotrexate, some anti-seizure medications, such as phenytoin (Dilantin) and phenobarbital, and proton pump inhibitors.

What can I do to keep my bones healthy?

You can take a few simple steps to prevent or slow bone loss. For example:

  • Include plenty of calcium in your diet. For adults ages 19 to 50 and men ages 51 to 70, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day. The recommendation increases to 1,200 mg a day for women after age 50 and for men after age 70.Good sources of calcium include dairy products, almonds, broccoli, kale, canned salmon with bones, sardines and soy products, such as tofu. If you find it difficult to get enough calcium from your diet, ask your doctor about supplements.
  • Pay attention to vitamin D. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. For adults ages 19 to 70, the RDA of vitamin D is 600 international units (IUs) a day. The recommendation increases to 800 IUs a day for adults age 71 and older.Good sources of vitamin D include oily fish, such as salmon, trout, whitefish and tuna. Additionally, mushrooms, eggs and fortified foods, such as milk and cereals, are good sources of vitamin D. Sunlight also contributes to the body’s production of vitamin D. If you’re worried about getting enough vitamin D, ask your doctor about supplements.
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, and climbing stairs, can help you build strong bones and slow bone loss.
  • Avoid substance abuse. Don’t smoke. If you are a woman, avoid drinking more than one alcoholic drink each day. If you are a man, avoid drinking more than two alcoholic drinks a day.

Rheumatology FAQ

The cause of RA is not yet fully understood, although doctors do know that an abnormal response of the immune system plays a leading role in the inflammation and joint damage that occurs.

The process of diagnosing lupus can be difficult because the signs and symptoms vary from person to person. Such signs and symptoms of lupus may vary over time and overlap with those of many other disorders.

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include widespread pain, jaw pain in stiffness, stiffness or pain in the morning and tingling and numbness in the hands and feet.

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