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What is Rheumatology?

Rheumatology is a branch of internal medicine that deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and management of rheumatic diseases. Rheumatic diseases are clinical conditions that involve bone joints, cartilages, soft tissues and even blood vessels. Rheumatic conditions are associated with an aberrant immune system. The body’s immune system gets out of control and attacks body tissues. The part of the body that is attacked gets damaged through the action of the inflammatory mediators and cells. A rheumatologist is a person who specializes in the investigation, diagnosis, and management of rheumatic diseases. When joints are affected, they become disfigured. The damage caused may make the patient immobile, thus crippling him or her. When the legs are affected, a person may fail to walk again. When hands are involved as show in the image above, the patient may be unable to use them to work again.