Arthritis specialists aim to reduce your pain and get you moving

At Health Quest, we're committed to improving your quality of life with effective treatments for protecting muscles, bones and joints. About 50 million Americans have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. As our population ages, that number may continue to grow.

Rheumatology is the subspecialty of internal medicine that diagnoses and treats arthritis, along with other inflammatory conditions affecting joints and soft tissue. From infusion care to microsurgeries for arthritic joints to physical therapy in our state-of-the-art facilities, our rheumatology specialists offer the latest treatments to help relieve your pain and restore mobility.

Treating a Variety of Rheumatic Conditions

Among the rheumatic conditions we treat are:

  • Osteoarthritis: One of the most common types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the wearing away of cartilage. Caused by aging, obesity, severe injury or heredity factors, it is mostly seen in the back, knees, hips and hands.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: RA is a systemic, autoimmune condition that causes the body to attack its own soft tissues and joints. It affects mostly the hand and feet joints but can also cause elbow, shoulder and neck problems.
  • Reactive arthritis: Also known as Reiter's syndrome, reactive arthritis occurs as a reaction to an infection in the body. Most infections that cause the disease originate either in the bladder, urethra, penis or vagina and are spread through sexual intercourse or in the gastrointestinal tract after eating contaminated food or handling contaminated substances.
  • Psoriatic arthritis: This form of arthritic joint pain and swelling is often accompanied by psoriasis, a skin condition featuring red patches of skin topped with silvery scales. Running mild to severe, it can affect any part of the body, including fingertips and spine.
  • Gout: Gout refers to inflammation caused by too much buildup of uric acid in the fluid around the joints. In most cases, the big toe and knee joints become inflamed, causing sudden, intense pain.
  • Pseudogout: Like gout, this condition is characterized by sudden swelling in one or more of the joints. It differs from gout in the type of crystal deposits that cause it.
  • Bursitis: Usually occurring around joints that have repetitive movements, such as the shoulder, elbow and hip, as well as the knee, heel and base of the big toe, bursitis is caused when bursae — the small fluid-filled pads that act as cushions between the bones and between the tendons and muscles near joints — become inflamed.
  • Fibromyalgia: This fairly common disease is characterized by chronic, widespread pain in the muscles and soft tissues surrounding the joints throughout the body. Affecting approximately 2 to 4 percent of the U.S. population (mostly middle-aged women), fibromyalgia may be accompanied by depression, fatigue and/or irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Lupus: Also known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), lupus is a chronic autoimmune condition in which the body's immune system causes damage to the joints, mostly in the hands, wrists and knees. It can cause extreme fatigue, headaches and fever, among other symptoms.
  • Osteoporosis: Translated as "porous bones," osteoporosis is a disease characterized by deterioration of bone tissue. This makes bones fragile and more susceptible to fractures, especially in the hip, spine and wrist.
  • Vasculitis: This is a rare autoimmune condition in which the blood vessels become inflamed. Symptoms depend on which part of the organ system is affected. If it affects the joints, it can cause painful arthritic aches in one or more joints.

Getting Well: First Steps

Your first line of defense against joint pain is consulting your primary care provider, who may refer you to a rheumatologist. If you are diagnosed with arthritis, your physician may first prescribe nonsurgical treatment, such as nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy or medication injections. Other treatments may include joint/bursa injections and aspiration, and tender point injections. A consultation with an orthopedic surgeon may also be advised, even when joint pain is fairly new.

Physical and Occupational Therapy

If your physician prescribes orthopedic rehabilitation, Health Quest has outpatient physical rehabilitation centers at all three hospitals and several satellite offices in the Mid-Hudson Valley. After your initial evaluation, therapists will create a customized program for your specific needs that may include:

  • Massage
  • Manual therapy
  • Tailored exercise
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Moist heat/ice application

Depending on your needs, occupational therapists may also teach you how to perform physical daily activities more effectively.

For more information on general rehabilitation services, see Orthopedic Rehabilitation

Hand Therapy

The pain and immobility caused by arthritic hands can make daily activities extremely difficult. To help you regain dexterity and flexibility, Health Quest occupational and physical therapists offer specialized therapy for the hands.

Our treatments include:

  • Splinting
  • Wound and scar care
  • Sensory retraining
  • Manual therapy
  • Self-care training
  • Therapeutic exercise
  • Pain management
  • Occupational retraining

Surgical Options

Arthritis can attack any joint and cause severe deterioration in the hips, knees, wrists and hands. In some cases, surgery may be recommended. Among the options we offer are:

  • Full joint replacement: Health Quest offers an array of total and partial hip and knee replacements, including state-of-the-art MAKOplasty® total hip replacement and MAKOplasty® partial knee resurfacing (offered at Vassar Brothers Medical Center and Putnam Hospital Center), and NavioTM partial knee replacement (offered at Northern Dutchess Hospital). More information on hip and knee surgery can be found on the Orthopedic Surgery Hip and Knee page.
  • Nonreplacement surgeries: At Health Quest, nonreplacement techniques have advanced just as quickly as full joint replacement. For arthritis sufferers, surgeries such as knee arthroscopy, metacarpal arthroplasty and endoscopic carpal tunnel release may help you avoid major surgery.

For more information, see General Orthopedic Surgery.

Patient Education

Educating yourself about arthritis can take you miles down the road to recovery. That's why we offer a variety of classes and workshops to help you develop the best habits for healthy living.

Get Smart About Arthritis
Health Quest Medical Practice Division of Rheumatology offers this session that explores symptoms, treatments and pain management for those with arthritis.

Living Well Workshop
Developed by Stanford University, this program is for anyone with a chronic health condition, including arthritis, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. You'll learn valuable tools and tips about diet, exercise, relaxation techniques, communicating with your healthcare provider, goal-setting and more. The program is sponsored by Health Quest, Putnam County Department of Health, Office for the Aging and Visiting Nurse Association of Hudson Valley.

Nutritional Counseling
Because managing your weight and following an anti-inflammatory diet might significantly relieve symptoms, Health Quest offers nutritional counseling for anyone with an arthritic condition.

Meet theTeam

Locations

Health Quest Medical Practice-Rheumatology
The Kingston Plaza
334 Plaza Road
(845) 331-5326
TTY/Accessibility:
(800) 421-1220

 

Hours:
Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5pm

Health Quest Medical Practice-Rheumatology
4068 Albany Post Road
(845) 790-2098
TTY/Accessibility:
(800) 421-1220

 

Hours:
Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5pm