Rheumatologist or Orthopedist: Which One Do I Go To?

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With so many disciplines in medicine overlapping, it can be difficult to tell which kind of medical professional you need to visit. Two medical professionals that are commonly confused are rheumatologists and orthopedists. Keep reading below to learn more about these two specialists and which one you should be visiting.


What Does a Rheumatologist Do?

Rheumatologists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating rheumatic diseases. Rheumatic diseases are conditions that affect the joints, muscles, and bones. They can be caused by various things, including autoimmune diseases, infections, and injuries.

Rheumatologists use a variety of tests to diagnose rheumatic diseases. These tests can include blood tests, X-rays, and MRI scans. Once a diagnosis is made, rheumatologists can provide treatment. Treatment options vary depending on the specific disease but can include medication, physical therapy, and surgery.

Rheumatologists play an essential role in the care of patients with rheumatic diseases. They can help improve quality of life and relieve pain and other symptoms.


What Does an Orthopedist Do?

An orthopedist is a medical doctor specializing in diagnosing and treating disorders of bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments. Orthopedists use various techniques to treat their patients, including medication, physical therapy, and surgery.

Orthopedists often treat patients with injuries, such as broken bones or sprains. They also treat conditions that cause pain in the bones, joints, or muscles, such as arthritis or back pain. Orthopedists may also treat patients who have had surgery to correct an injury or disorder.

Orthopedists use a variety of diagnostic tools to assess a patient’s condition. They may order X-rays, MRIs, or other imaging tests and request other laboratory tests. In some cases, an orthopedist may need to refer a patient to a specialist for further testing or treatment.

After diagnosing a condition, an orthopedist will develop a treatment plan. The type of treatment will depend on the severity of the situation and the preferences of the patient. Treatment may include medication, physical therapy, or surgery.


What Is the Difference Between a Rheumatologist and an Orthopedist?

The main difference between a rheumatologist and an orthopedist is that a rheumatologist is a medical doctor specializing in diagnosing and treating rheumatic diseases. In contrast, an orthopedist is a medical doctor specializing in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal disorders.

Rheumatic diseases are conditions that affect the joints and tissues around the joints. Some common rheumatic diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, and lupus. Orthopedic disorders, however, refer to problems with the bones, muscles, and ligaments, such as fractures, dislocations, and sprains.

While rheumatologists and orthopedists treat patients with joint problems, they do so differently. Rheumatologists treat the underlying disease causing the joint issues, while orthopedists focus on treating them.


Do I See a Rheumatologist or an Orthopedist for Arthritis?

Do you have arthritis? If so, you may wonder whether you should see a rheumatologist or an orthopedist. Both types of doctors treat arthritis, but they have different approaches.

Rheumatologists are specialists in treating arthritis and other diseases of the joints, muscles, and bones. They often use medication to treat these conditions. Orthopedists, however, focus on treating problems with the bones and muscles and may use surgery to treat some diseases.

So, which type of doctor should you see? It depends on your situation. If you have a complex arthritis condition that requires medication, you may need to see a rheumatologist. If you have a simple arthritis condition that can be treated with surgery, you may be able to see an orthopedist.



If you have joint pain, stiffness, or swelling, you must see a rheumatologist or orthopedist. These doctors are experts in diagnosing and treating conditions affecting joints, bones, and muscles. While rheumatologists and orthopedists can relieve joint pain, they have different areas of specialization. Rheumatologists focus on conditions that affect the joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles, while orthopedists concentrate on problems with the bones and joints.

If you need an arthritis doctor in New Jersey, you can visit the Center for Arthritis & Osteoporosis. The team led by Dr. Adenwalla uses the best possible treatments and diagnostic methods to handle different diseases. Get in touch with us to book an appointment.

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