Rheumatic disorders can affect joints, muscles, bones and ligaments and cause stiffness, pain, swelling, and weakness. Buffalo Medical Group’s rheumatology department evaluates and treats adults for all manner of rheumatic disease. Our team works with each patient to develop an individualized treatment program for their conditions.
Our staff specializes in:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Soft tissue rheumatism
- Lupus and other connective tissue diseases
- Spondyloarthropathy including psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis
- Crystal arthropathies such as gout and calcium pyrophosphate deposition
- Vasculitis of the large, medium, and small vessels
Rheumatic Diseases and Conditions
Our rheumatology department treats rheumatic diseases from the most common to the most complex. The many forms of rheumatic disease we successfully treat include:
- Inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthropathies including psoriatic arthritis, inflammatory back pain, and ankylosing spondylitis
- Connective tissue diseases including lupus, mixed connective tissue disease, Sjogren’s syndrome, and Raynaud’s phenomenon
- Auto-inflammatory syndromes and other rare diseases such as Behcet’s syndrome
- Inflammatory muscle diseases, such as dermatomyositis and polymyositis
- Post-infectious and viral-induced arthritis
- Soft tissue rheumatism, including bursitis and tendonitis
- Vasculitis, including temporal arteritis
- Crystal arthropathies including gout and calcium pyrophosphate deposition
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a disorder where the patient’s immune system attacks normal tissues, resulting in inflammation, stiffness, pain, and possible permanent damage to joints and internal organs. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that requires regular follow-up care. In advanced cases, the inflammation caused by RA can damage the patient’s lungs, blood vessels, heart, and spine, and impart an elevated risk for strokes and heart attacks. RA is believed to be triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Spondyloarthritis is an inflammatory form of arthritis that affects the axial spine and sacroiliac joints and can cause a great deal of pain and limitation in mobility. Spondyloarthritis subtypes include ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease associated arthritis.
Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect virtually any organ system of the body, including the skin, joints, kidney, brain, blood, and heart. Lupus can be characterized by periods of illness known as flares, and people with lupus may experience periods of remission. It is important to monitor the kidney function, blood cell counts, and for lupus specific labs regarding inflammation.
Gout is a crystal induced arthritis where uric acid deposits as needle-like crystals into the joint spaces. This causes an irritation where the body sends in fluid and immune cells to clear the crystals, resulting in inflammation, swelling, and significant pain. Treatment focuses on lowering uric acid levels and providing relief during flares.
Other types of crystal-induced arthritis involve the deposition of calcium into joint spaces, also causing inflammation and irritation.
Myositis is a rare disease in which the immune system chronically inflames the body’s healthy muscle tissue. This persistent inflammation can cause weakness, soreness, and may be associated with inflammation in other organs. There are different types of myositis such as those induced by statin medications, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, all with different presentations.
For some patients, myositis can be a short-term problem that goes away after a few days or weeks. For others it is a chronic condition that can lead to muscle atrophy (wasting and shrinking) and severe disability, if not properly treated.
Scleroderma is a disease with a variety of different presentations and may range from systemic complications that impact a multitude of different organ systems including the lungs or localized with primarily skin involvement with excessive deposits of collagen causing thickening or hardening of the skin.
Vasculitis is a disease characterized by swelling of blood vessels that causes them to thicken, narrow, weaken, or scar. Vasculitis can occur suddenly, or evolve over weeks or months, affect a single area of the body, or involve multiple locations, and range from mild to life-threatening complications.
Primary vasculitis occurs without any known cause and can result in a variety of other diseases, such as:
- Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis
- Granulomatosis with Eosinophilia
- Microscopic polyangiitis
- Henoch-Schönlein purpura (IgA vasculitis)
- Polyarteritis nodosa
- Kawasaki disease
- Primary angiitis of the central nervous system (CNS vasculitis)
- Temporal arteritis/giant cell arteritis
- Takayasu’s arteritis
Secondary vasculitis occurs from medication, or as a result of another disease, such as:
- A complication of another autoimmune disorder (such as RA with vasculitis complications)
- Viral, bacterial, or fungal infection
- Cancer, such as lymphoma or leukemia
- Side effects of specific medications
As we age, bone density can decrease over time. For those who are at a higher risk of fracture of the hip or spine compared to the general population, we can offer specific medications to help slow the loss of bone strength, or to help increase the build-up of bone on top of pre-existing tissue, in addition to adequate Vitamin D and calcium supplementation.
We offer outpatient consultations using the latest technology in evaluating and diagnosing rheumatic disease, including specialty ultrasound tests, capillary microscopy and DEXA interpretation.
Our rheumatology team offers:
- Extensive laboratory testing and imaging
- Musculoskeletal ultrasound to aid in the diagnosis of rheumatic disease
- Outpatient management of rheumatologic diseases
- Conventional and biological disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs
- Infusion therapies
- Diagnostic and therapeutic joint drainage and injections
- Soft tissue injections
At Buffalo Medical Group, you will be working with a professional team that utilizes the latest guidelines in addition to a spirit of compassion to help provide quality care for your rheumatic disease. Many rheumatic diseases are chronic conditions for which there is no cure. People diagnosed with these diseases can feel overwhelmed by the information at first. We are dedicated to helping you cope with the emotional and social aspects of your diagnosis. You can reach out to any of our supportive staff members for additional assistance or guidance.
Comprehensive Management With Other Divisions
Rheumatic diseases are complex conditions that can affect multiple areas of your life and your body. 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
To schedule an appointment call 716-6564558
*Scheduling is available from 8 am to 5 pm EST, Monday through Friday