Why to Refer
Rheumatoid arthritis not only causes joint destruction but also is associated with several major comorbidities including increased risks of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and premature death. Because of the complexities of the disease and its often confusing presentation, it can be helpful to refer these patients to specialists.
Researchers have documented the benefit that early treatment with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) can have on RA and recent newer treatment regimens such as biologics (anti-TNF agents) in RA patients with early disease.
Because we are convinced of the importance of early treatment, we have now organized our practice so that we can provide rheumatologic input promptly for patients you suspect may have RA or other types of inflammatory arthritis (e.g., psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis).
Who to Refer
If your patients have ANY of the following symptoms, please initiate a referral by calling (585)486-0901 or by sending a fax to (585) 340-5399 with the patient information.
- Three or more swollen joints OR
- Morning stiffness of 30 minutes or more OR
- Metacarpophalangeal (MCP)/Metatarsophalangeal (MTP) involvement
(Compress a group of adjacent MCP or MTP joints between your thumb and forefinger. Pain elicited by mild compression may be diagnostic of early RA.)
How to Refer
- You can call our dedicated line for the Early Arthritis Clinic.
Phone: (585) 486-0901
- You may send a fax with the patient information and specifically request the Early Arthritis Clinic.
Fax: (585) 340-5399
- You can email the clinic at EarlyArthritisClinic@urmc.rochester.edu.
Aims of the Early Arthritis Clinic
Aims of the Early Arthritis Clinic are to:
- Make it possible for patients with rheumatoid RA to be seen by a rheumatologist, within 1-3 weeks of referral
- See patients with RA within 3 months of disease onset
- Provide access to state-of-the-art diagnostic modalities including musculoskeletal ultrasound and bone density scans
- Start patients on treatment as early as possible
- Diagnose and treat patients with psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis