Type of doctor to see for OA? - Osteoarthritis Ac...

Osteoarthritis Action
915 members267 posts

Type of doctor to see for OA?


So I have an appointment with a rheumatologist in a couple of weeks, but I’m not sure if I’m seeing the right kind of doctor for my OA. I also have Sjogrens & fibromyalgia though. Not fun. My GP doesn’t quite get it. I have stiffness & pain in almost all my joints. Especially bad in my feet & shoulder. My low back is fused but I have more problems going on above that fusion. I’m almost 64 & trying to work until I reach 65 for insurance. Not sure I’ll make it. Pain keeps me up at night so I’m tired at work. Wow. Too many issues. What do I do? I’m only on Celebrex but don’t think it’s helping anymore. Who should I see?

5 Replies

In the UK the first specialist would be a rheumatologist for OA - as well as your other problems. However if your OA is bad enough to consider a replacement operation then you would be referred to an orthopaedic clinic/surgeon.

Assume it would be similar in the States - but never really sure, they seem to more specialists getting involved than in UK

in reply to DorsetLady

Thank you. My GP doesn’t really have a clue on how to treat me so she refers me to orthopedic doctors who just want to do surgery. I’ve had my hip replaced & low back fused. But now my mid back is killing me. My vertebrae are slipping & I have a herniated disc. The doctor doesn’t want to do more surgery. I also have severe joint pain in the big toe joint & my other toes of my right feet. I have an appointment with a rheumatologist in June. I’m afraid I’m going to have to live with this pain.

in reply to tselph

It does sound like that yes - my back is not brilliant, not as bad as yours, but the constant pain is very debilitating at times isn’t it?

I’ve had left knee, right hip and left shoulder replaced - and I know the right shoulder is going down that route as well - but not fir a while. Still recovering from left shoulder and with Covid-19 around all elective surgeries are on hold in UK, so there’s going to be an almighty back-log when they do restart.

Have you seen a physiatrist? They tend to use surgery as a last resort, instead focusing on ways to rehabilitate (and may refer you to a PT, for example). I got my OA diagnosis from my GP, who then referred me to a physiatrist who manages my stuff.

I hope you figure something out.

in reply to Osteopot

I’ve not heard of a physiatrist. Not sure who or what they are. I got my diagnosis from a doctor at the Mayo Clinic. I have significant OA. For 3 years I was misdiagnosed with RA. I also have Sjogrens, fibromyalgia & Raynauds I think.

You may also like...