On-spot rheumatology consultations in a multilevel geriatric hospital

Emily Lubart, Arthur Leibovitz, Vadim Shapir, Refael Segal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Musculoskeletal and joint disorders are extremely common in the elderly. They directly affect mobility, gait stability, quality of life, and independence. Objectives: To assess the nature of joint problems encountered in a geriatric inpatient population and evaluate the contribution of a rheumatologist. methods: We reviewed the rheumatology consultation records that were conducted in a geriatric medical center over a 10 year period. results: A total of 474 consultations were held; most of these patients (86%) were hospitalized in the acute geriatric departments, 10% in the rehabilitation ward and 4% in the long-term care wards. Some patients were seen more than once. A rheumatologic joint problem was the main reason for hospitalization in 53% of these patients. Monoarthritis was the most frequent complaint (50%), followed by pauci-articular arthritis (two to fve joints) in 30% of patients. Arthrocentesis, diagnostic and therapeutic, was performed in 225 patients, most of them in knee joints (81%). The most frequent diagnosis was osteoarthritis with acute exacerbation (28%), followed by gout (18%), pseudo-gout (9%) and rheumatoid arthritis (9%). In 86 cases (18%) the diagnosis was a non-specifc rheumatologic problem: arthralgia, non-specifc generalized pain, or fbromyalgia. conclusions: Prompt and appropriate evaluation, as well as arthrocentesis and treatment initiation, including local injections, were made possible by the presence of an in-house rheumatologist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-36
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Multilevel geriatric hospital
  • Musculoskeletal and joint disorders
  • Rheumatologic consultations


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