FAQ

Q. What is rheumatology?

A. Rheumatology is the study, diagnosis and treatment of diseases that affect the muscles, joints and bones. The main rheumatic condition is arthritis, which has two forms – rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is systemic, causing painful swelling of most joints all over the body. Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of cartilage in the afflicted joint. While the main rheumatic condition is arthritis, other well-known conditions include osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, lupus, gout, lyme disease, scoliosis and tendonitis.

Q. Why choose a rheumatologist?

A. A rheumatologist is a physician who diagnoses and treats diseases that affect the muscles, joints and bones. Accredited rheumatologists have earned a bachelor’s degree and a 4-year medical degree, as well as completed 3 years of an internship or residency program followed by a 2- or 3-year fellowship in rheumatology. Because there are over 100 types of rheumatic diseases and conditions, it is important to have your symptoms examined by a specialist in the field – a rheumatologist.

Q. Does a rheumatologist treat Fibromyalgia?

A. Fibromyalgia is not a form of arthritis (joint disease). It does not cause inflammation or damage to joints, muscles or other tissues. However, because fibromyalgia can cause chronic pain and fatigue similar to arthritis, some people may think of it as a rheumatic condition. As a result, often a rheumatologist detects this disease (and rules out other rheumatic diseases). Your primary care physician can provide all the other care and treatment of fibromyalgia that you need. Visit The American College of Rheumatology Website for more information. 

Q. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

A. If you are experiencing rheumatologic conditions, talk with your primary care or other treating physician and ask if seeing a rheumatologist is an appropriate treatment approach for your symptoms. Once we receive your treating physician’s referral, we will call you to schedule your initial exam. 

Q. What information do I need to bring to my first visit?

A. Please arrive 30 minutes early to complete registration forms if you have not already done so. You may also download the forms from this site, complete them and bring them with you. To assist us, please bring your insurance card, a photo ID, and a list of any medications and supplements you are currently taking. If you have any X-rays of your condition, bring those with you as well.  Your co-pay will be collected upon check-in.

Q. How can I get a prescription refill?

A. Please contact your pharmacy when a prescription refill is needed and ask them to fax the request to 317.848.6605. Otherwise, contact our office to request a prescription refill. When calling, please have the phone number of your pharmacy available. If the medication is refillable, we will submit a request your pharmacy. Please allow 48 hours for processing refill requests. Keep in mind, some prescriptions may require a follow-up exam to determine the need for a refill.

Q. Why do I need a referral to see a rheumatologist?

A. We remain conscientious of the rising cost of healthcare and recognize the importance of coordination of care with your referring physician, therefore a  referral is required prior to scheduling a New Patient appointment.  If you do not have a primary care physician, let us know and we will do our best to help you find someone within our extensive referring network.

Q. Is medicine the only way to help relieve symptoms of rheumatic diseases?

A. There are several treatment options for relieving the symptoms of rheumatic diseases. If medication is available for your condition, we will prescribe it in addition to recommending lifestyle changes. A healthy diet, regular exercise, weight loss, limiting alcohol and stopping smoking are all important actions you can take in successfully relieving symptoms. Depending on your condition, we may also recommend physical and occupational therapies.

Q. Will I be able to be active again?

A. Our goal is to help you restore your quality of life!   While most rheumatic diseases have no cure, there are treatment options that may help relieve the pain, inflammation and put the disease in remission. Medications and a healthy lifestyle are important in managing the symptoms. Regular exercise is also vital in treating rheumatic diseases. Many patients become inactive because of the pain they are experiencing, making their condition worse. Exercise and remaining active has been shown to be beneficial to your health.

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