Rheumatology and Immunology Care
Our USC Rheumatology Program doctors are 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, our rheumatologists work closely with their surgical colleagues to assure comprehensive care.
Services We Offer
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).
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.
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.
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.
Physician and patient education programs in current and anticipated treatments are presented annually by our rheumatology physicians.