Our rheumatology service can help diagnose and treat you if you have conditions affecting your joints, bones and muscles. It aims to help you regain the ability to live your life normally.
Patients are commonly referred into the service with inflammatory and musculoskeletal diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and gout. Some of our work involves more complex autoimmune inflammatory disorders that may not necessarily cause joint pain, such as giant cell arthritis and other cases of vasculitis, or connective tissue diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus.
We like to see you as early as possible in your illness because we know that earlier treatment of inflammatory arthritis is the best way to minimise the risk of the illness progressing or causing complications.
You will be treated by a team that includes rheumatologists, specialist nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and podiatrists.
You will be seen by a consultant in one of our outpatient clinics where the cause of the joint pain will be investigated. It may be necessary for patients to have a blood test, x-ray or ultrasound.
Once a diagnosis has been reached, we are likely to recommend a package of therapies including (but not limited to) more effective pain killers, steroid injections into affected joints, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and education. If you have foot problems you may be referred to the podiatrist.
In the event joints can’t be treated medically, we work closely with our orthopedic surgeons to assess where surgery can help.
Throughout your treatment you may be seen by a rheumatology consultant, rheumatology specialist nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapist and podiatrist.
These teams hold clinics at our hospitals in North Tyneside and Northumberland and will see you in the hospital that is most convenient to you.
You will be seen by the team member that is most appropriate to deal with your specific problem. You will be under the overall care of a consultant but may at any time be seen by other members of the team.
Dr Andrea Myers has a particular interest in arthritis occurring in adolescents or young adults, and in helping patients transitioning from paediatric rheumatology services to adult rheumatology services.
Patient support groups
Patients can join education sessions around the trust which provide information to help you manage your condition. You will be informed about these groups from a member of the team.
Patients that have already been referred can also contact our rheumatology advice lines:
- For North Tyneside and Hexham call 0191 293 4159
- For Wansbeck and North Northumberland call – 01670 052 9448