Rheumatology

Osteoarthritis

For temporary pain relief from osteoarthritis, you can use warm towels, hot packs, or a warm bath or shower. Cold packs are often used to reduce the inflammation of swollen joints.

USC Rheumatology is committed to caring for patients with joint, muscle, and connective tissue diseases, and to the development of novel therapies for these patients.

Our rheumatologists can accurately assess and expertly treat more than 100 rheumatologic disorders using a wide variety of diagnostic tests, including imaging (X-rays, ultrasounds, PET scans, and MRI scans), bone density scans, muscle function tests, and blood analysis. A full range of treatments is available, from the latest anti-inflammatory drug therapies to physical and occupational therapy. When surgical options-such as joint replacement-are required, USC rheumatologists work closely with their USC surgical colleagues to assure comprehensive care.

Contact

Contact Rheumatology at rheum@usc.edu

Diagnosis and Treatment

Our rheumatologists can adequately assess and treat over 100 rheumatologic disorders. They use a wide variety of diagnostic tests including imaging (x-rays, ultrasound, PET scans, MRI scanning), bone density scans, muscle function tests and blood analysis to carefully and accurately diagnose a patient’s condition. A full range of treatments is available, from the most current anti-inflammatory drug therapies to physical and occupational therapy. When surgical options, such as joint replacement, are needed, USC rheumatologists work in close coordination with the USC surgical colleagues to assure comprehensive care.

Centers and Programs

Joint Replacement

The USC Division of Rheumatology has acquired an international reputation for its expertise in rheumatic disorders and joint replacements. Physicians at the center perform approximately 400 of these procedures each year, and our rheumatologists manage the underlying illnesses that necessitate these replacements. Underlying conditions can include common disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis, as well as less common conditions like ankylosing spondylitis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Infusion Center

Our rheumatologists use innovative intravenous treatments for a number of arthritic conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing arthritis. The use of intravenous monoclonal antibodies and other products has altered the prognostic landscape for these debilitating diseases. Our specialists are referred patients from all over Southern California for the assessment and treatment of these conditions.

Clinical Research

Many patients with rheumatologic illnesses are eligible for experimental therapies. These treatments have been approved by the university’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB is governed by stringent rules and regulations standardized by the federal government. Systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis are two examples of disease states where experimental treatments have led to significant advances in the field. One of USC’s current studies involves the use of an inhibitor of tumor necrosis factor BLys. Our rheumatologists are optimistic about the potential benefit of this study and the other innovative therapies available at USC.

Rehabilitation

Our physicians work with other disciplines and technologies to restore and enhance functional activity and mobility for people with all types of rheumatologic diseases. Rehabilitative efforts are also directed towards patients who have suffered debilitating injuries such as trauma or stroke. Rehabilitation programs can include disciplines such as speech, physical, and occupational therapy. Bone density measurements are also readily available and can be tremendously valuable in the evaluation of bone strength, osteopenia, and osteoporosis.

Education

Physician and patient education programs in current and anticipated treatments are presented annually by our rheumatology physicians.