Rheumatic disorders can affect joints, muscles, bones and ligaments. MetroHealth's nationally and internationally recognized rheumatology team evaluates and treats both adults and children for all manner of rheumatic disease. We have the longest running clinical program in Greater Cleveland to care for lupus and related connective tissue disorders, with a dedicated Lupus Clinic and research program.
Our staff includes experts in:
- Lupus and other connective tissue disease
- Pediatric rheumatology
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Soft tissue rheumatism
- Spondyloarthropathy, including ankylosing spondylitis and psoriasis
Rheumatic Diseases and Conditions We Treat
Our rheumatologists are experts in treating rheumatic diseases from the most common to the most complex. The many forms of rheumatic disease we successfully treat include:
- Auto-inflammatory syndromes and other rare diseases, such as Behcet's syndrome
- Connective tissue diseases, including lupus, mixed connective tissue disease, Raynaud's phenomenon and Sjogren's syndrome (in children and adults)
- Inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthropathy
- Inflammatory muscle diseases, such as polymyositis and dermatomyositis
- Post-infectious and viral-induced arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis
- Soft tissue rheumatism, including bursitis and tendonitis
- Spondyloarthropathy, inflammatory back pain and ankylosing spondylitis
- Vasculitis, including temporal arteritis
We also offer consultation services for rheumatic diseases and conditions, including fibromyalgia. And we offer special services, including musculoskeletal ultrasound, to aid in the diagnosis of rheumatic disease.
Care for Spondyloarthritis
Spondyloarthritis is an inflammatory form of arthritis that affects the axial spine and sacroiliac joints. An estimated 1 percent of people have this condition, and it can cause a great deal of pain. MetroHealth has a dedicated Spondyloarthritis Clinic that can help. It's designed for people who have ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis or related spondyloarthritis.
When you come to our clinic, we'll perform an evaluation to confirm the diagnosis. We will review your imaging and laboratory tests, and we'll order further testing if needed.
Then we'll discuss your condition with you and offer advice on therapies that can help. In our clinic, you'll be working with a compassionate team with extensive personal and professional experience in dealing with spondyloarthritis.
You may participate in observational and interventional studies through our research unit, which will focus on discoveries to control and cure spondyloarthropathies.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Expertise
We have special interest in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) care and patient-oriented research. We have clinical studies in early RA that are observational, and we will soon launch a cutting-edge National Institutes of Health study in early RA using cell-based therapy (adult mesenchymal stem cells) to try to restore the immune system to its "pre-RA" state.
Childhood Rheumatic Disease Expertise
Children also develop chronic rheumatic conditions that can affect their growth and development. Usually rheumatic conditions progress slowly, and parents might notice the issue only when a child starts limping or falling frequently. Children with rheumatologic conditions may also have symptoms such as:
- Decreased appetite
- Limb length discrepancies
- Low energy
- Muscle weakness
- Pain in the limbs
- Swollen joints
- Skin rashes
- Unexplained periodic fevers
A skilled and caring pediatric rheumatologist will assess all symptoms and evaluate in detail the radiology and laboratory findings to determine a diagnosis and recommended treatment.
Besides outstanding laboratory and imaging services, our Pediatric Rheumatology and Bone Health Clinic is equipped to diagnose rheumatologic conditions by using musculoskeletal ultrasound technology. Our pediatric rheumatologists use this technology in an outpatient office setting as a point-of-care diagnostic method.
Our pediatric rheumatologists provide:
- Inpatient and outpatient management of rheumatologic diseases as a team
- Treatments with state-of-the-art biologic or non-biologic anti-rheumatic medications
- Same-day outpatient infusion treatments
- Ultrasound-guided joint injections or tendon injections
- Pediatric physical therapy and occupational therapies
- Nutrition services
We also offer pediatric bone health care in our clinics, in which kids with chronic bone loss or osteoporosis are seen and treated.
We have the ability to perform ultrasonography diagnoses of bone health status and arthritis, which cannot be done by other pediatric clinics in Northeast Ohio.
Furthermore, we are able to see patients on the same day that they need to be seen, with no waiting.
State-of-the Art Treatments and Procedures
We offer both outpatient and inpatient consultations. Our rheumatologists use the latest technology in evaluating and diagnosing rheumatic disease, including specialty ultrasound tests, capillary microscopy and DEXA interpretation.
We offer the most advanced treatments available, including:
- Infusion therapies
- Diagnostic and therapeutic joint drainage and injections
- Soft tissue injections
- Ultrasound-guided joint injection, including the use of ultrasound to target delivery of intra-articular therapy and to analyze fluid collections
- Conventional and biological disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs
We can also offer novel therapies through enrollment in one of our many clinical trials. These may be investigational arthritis medications or lupus treatments not yet available elsewhere. MetroHealth researchers are regularly investigating new treatments through our research program, as well as conducting observational trials about issues like quality of life.
Comprehensive, Patient-Centered Care
Many rheumatic diseases are chronic conditions for which there is no cure. It's not uncommon for people with these diseases to feel overwhelmed or fearful. We completely understand, and we're here to help you cope with the emotional and social aspects of your diagnosis. You can reach out to any of our supportive staff members for help.
Rheumatic diseases are complex conditions that can affect every area of your life. Because of our commitment to complete and multidisciplinary care, your rheumatology team might also include experts from other specialties, such as:
- Mental health
- Pain management
- Physical medicine and rehabilitation
- Primary care
- Pulmonary medicine
Excellence Founded on Experience
MetroHealth's Rheumatology Department includes some of the leading experts in their field. Our physicians all serve on the faculty of Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine, where they're involved in cutting-edge research and keep current with the latest developments in rheumatology. That's knowledge they can put to use for you.