Your body's immune system protects you from disease and infection. But if you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks the healthy cells in your body by mistake.
There are more than 80 known types of autoimmune disorders that affect different areas of the body - from joints and muscles to skin and blood, and certain organs. Among the most common autoimmune disorders that affect the musculoskeletal system are fibromyalgia, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
At the University of Michigan, we are experts in dealing with autoimmune disorders. Through our Comprehensive Musculoskeletal Center, we bring together the expertise and skills of our physicians, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, rheumatologists, nephrologists, pulmonologists, hematologists, dermatologists, obstetricians and gynecologists to provide multidisciplinary care that brings real relief to our patients.
Along with the full scope of blood tests and X-rays, we can offer our patients diagnostic and therapeutic procedures including:
- Arthrocentesis (fluid analysis of the joints)
- Arthroscopy (minimally invasive surgery that uses a scope to examine and repair damaged joints and muscles)
- Closed synovial biopsy
- Synovial fluid analysis
Diagnosis of Autoimmune Disorders
Autoimmune disorders are difficult to diagnose because there is no single test for these types of diseases. Sometimes they imitate other diseases. Sometimes they flare up or go into what looks like remission. That's why it's important to be seen by health care providers who have experience diagnosing and treating the condition.
When you come to the University of Michigan:
- We will take your complete medical history and ask you about your pattern of symptoms.
- We will conduct a physical examination.
- We will consult with your referring physician, if there is one.
- We may conduct tests such as X-rays, blood tests and perhaps muscle or joint biopsies.
We will use all of this information to develop an individualized treatment plan for you.
Make an Appointment
Selecting a health care provider is a very important decision. Because we are highly experienced in treating autoimmune disorders and related diseases, we would like to help you explore your options. Visit our Make an Appointment page for contact information. Our staff will be glad to talk with you about how we can help.