Preparing for an Initial Arthritis Evaluation in South Florida
When your family doctor recognizes the signs of arthritis, he or she will most likely refer you to a rheumatologist. At the rheumatologist’s office you will undergo further evaluation that will help assist the doctor in determining exactly what form of arthritis you have and what treatments will work best. In order to prepare for your visit to the specialist, it is helpful to write down a list of medical specifics and questions to provide the doctor and his staff. This list should include:
- Your symptoms with as much detail as possible
- Any other medical issues you’ve had
- The medical history of your parents and siblings
- All medications you are currently on
- Any dietary supplements you’ve been taking
You should also include questions, so you can better understand your illness and the process you will go through for treatment. These questions should include:
- What is the cause of your symptoms?
- What other potential causes could there be?
- What tests will be needed for your diagnosis?
- What treatments does your doctor normally recommend?
- How long before symptoms improve?
- Will there be long-term complications?
- What can be done right now to help with the pain?
You may also want to ask if your specialist has any printed material you can read or take home for your family.
South Florida’s First Practice in Arthritis Treatment
When you visit a specialist who is experienced with diagnosing arthritis they will also have questions for you. They will most likely ask you about your symptoms, when you first noticed them, and whether or not they’ve been consistent or on-and-off. They’ll want to know your pain level and if anything seems to help or make it worse. They’ll look into whether or not you’ve had any infections recently or if you’ve been diagnosed with any other chronic illnesses. They will want to record what medications, vitamins, and supplements you’ve been taking as well, which is why it’s good to already have this list written down so you don’t forget any.
Our providers, located in Pembroke Pines and Hollywood, were the area’s first rheumatologists in the treatment of arthritis. In your initial consultation, our doctors will want to run a few tests to gather information. They may perform blood, urine, and joint fluid tests. They may also schedule you for an x-ray or other imaging tests so they can take a look at your joint health. If you have any questions about the tests being performed, don’t hesitate to ask the doctors. Experienced doctors, like those at South Florida Rheumatology, want you to fully understand what is involved in your diagnosis and treatment.