Woodlands HospitalMorton Park, Darlington, County Durham, DL1 4PL Directions
Mon-Sun: 10am-8.30pm. Due to COVID restrictions no visitors are currently allowed
Yes - 80 spaces
Rapid assessment for joint and muscle pains
We prioritise seeing you for a rapid assessment without any unnecessary delay. Not only that, our highly experienced Rheumatologists can use their expertise to find the right course of action for you, tailoring treatments to your specific needs.
Symptoms of a rheumatic issue may include:
We also see patients who may have certain conditions that result in joint pain, such as:
If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms, or you are concerned that you may have a rheumatic condition, our rheumatology consultants are available to help accurately diagnose you promptly, bringing you one step closer to relief from your symptoms.
If you have previously seen your GP for treatment, you may have been advised to take over-the-counter painkillers to help with your symptoms. Stronger painkillers can be prescribed if appropriate.
Anti-inflammatory steroid injections are a common treatment for rheumatic conditions, helping to reduce swelling and addressing your pain at the same time. The steroid is injected directly into the source of your pain, either by your rheumatologist in the clinic, or under ultrasound guidance by a specialist radiologist. These injections can be repeated periodically if they prove effective in managing your symptoms.
If at the point of diagnosis it is determined that a joint needs an operation, you will be given the option of a referral to one of our expert orthopaedic surgeons, who work closely with the Rheumatology team to provide excellent care and specialised surgery. Your consultant will liaise with them in the run up to surgery and can help prepare you with a pre-operative assessment.
Surgery is rarely needed, but may be beneficial to those with severe rheumatoid arthritis, where a joint replacement can be considered, removing the damaged joint and replacing with an artificial implant. This is usually only considered when all other non-invasive measures have been tried and have been ineffective in easing your symptoms.
This will be followed by a physical examination to assess the symptoms you’ve mentioned, where your consultant will manipulate the affected joint or limb, looking at your range of movement and taking note of the precise points you experience pain or stiffness. This is often enough for your consultant to make a primary diagnosis.
Blood tests will often be arranged, and your consultant will most likely wish to see an x-ray of the affected joints or limbs. Some patients will already have had an x-ray prior to coming to Woodlands, but if not, a scan can be arranged on-site. Occasionally an ultrasound may be useful, especially if your consultant wishes to look at the soft tissues and structures around a particular joint. Woodlands has excellent facilities for getting quick access to scans, making sure your diagnosis arrives without an unnecessary wait.
Sometimes, if the issue is diagnosed within the initial consultation, treatment can begin right away in the form of tablets or steroid injections. Injections are normally administered directly into the joint, and this can be done then and there in the clinic. In fact, once diagnosed, many conditions are managed well in primary care by your GP, saving you further trips to the hospital.
If an ultrasound-guided injection is needed (to ensure the precision of the injection, especially when important blood vessels and nerves surround the site of your pain), this can be booked in for a later date. This is carried out alongside a specialist radiologist, allowing us to see the needle going into the exact spot required for maximum accuracy. Should you require surgery, your consultant can discuss with you all available options, liaising with orthopaedic surgeons on your behalf.
If any symptoms relating to joint pain are concerning you, why not book a consultation with one of our Rheumatology specialists today? Our consultants can outline all treatment options for you promptly, arranging any necessary diagnostic scans, treatment and surgery if required. For peace of mind and expert care, please contact Woodlands to book an appointment now.