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This book is for healthcare professionals to use with their patients. It aims to help you to prepare patients for their first visit to the rheumatologist and the treatments they may receive. Rheumatologists work as part of a multidisciplinary team with physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other healthcare workers. This team treats a variety of conditions, from sports injuries to osteoporosis and arthritis. Although some of these conditions are amenable to simple treatment such as a soft tissue injection, others may involve protracted care shared among the team.
It can be very daunting and confusing for a patient attending the rheumatology clinic for the first time, particularly with a polyarthritis or multisystem disorder.
What are the roles of the different medical staff? Why are there so many different forms of treatment? Some patients may wish to know how tennis elbow is dealt with, and how the injection is given. Others may be bewildered by the extensive examination they receive when all they have is painful hands; and who are the physiotherapist and occupational therapist? What are splints for?
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