Question

Can rheumatologists perform surgery? Are rheumatologists similar to orthopaedic surgeons?

Can rheumatologists perform surgery? Are rheumatologists similar to orthopaedic surgeons?

Answers

Rheumatology is a specialty within the specialty of internal medicine. Their patients are treated mostly with medication and some physical therapy.

Orthopedics is a surgical specialty - and therefore their patients are all treated surgically.

There is some correlation between the two specialties. Rheumatologists will refer patients to orthopedic surgeons if the patient has, say, a knee all locked up with osteoarthritis and needs to have it replaced. Orthopedic surgeons who see patients with rheumatology-type symptoms will refer their patients to a rheumatologist.

Rheumatologists do not practice surgery unless they have been specifically trained to do so. I don't know any rheumatologists who have both specialties (and I know several of these specialists)

See the two citations below for more info.

#1

Um..no.

#2

Absolutely no

#3

No, they are quite different. An orthopedic surgeon diagnoses and repairs fractured bones in the human skeleton, and is a surgeon. A rheumatologist is most often a board certified internist (internal medicine physician) who is not at all a surgeon, but who diagnoses and treats chronic illnesses associated with the joints and the musculature, such a SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondilitis, etc. Best wishes.

#4