Arthritis Care & Rheumatology

Also known as Autoimmune Disorder Care

Care for all types of arthritis

Arthritis Care and Rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Needham

Arthritis can be painful and slow you down. At BID Needham, our rheumatology team is dedicated to helping you live life at your pace and free of pain. We care for inflammatory conditions of the muscles or joints. The most common condition we treat is arthritis, which occurs when the immune system attacks your joints.

Types of Arthritis We Care For

The rheumatologists (doctors who treat arthritis) at BID Needham provide care for the two major types of arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function in the joints. It usually affects the same joint on both sides of the body. This type of arthritis is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. These factors cause the immune system to attack joints and muscles in the body.


Healthy cartilage is a cushion between the bones in a joint. Osteoarthritis is the breakdown of that cartilage. This causes inflammation of the joint lining. People with osteoarthritis usually have joint pain and limited movement of the affected joint. Osteoarthritis is associated with aging. The exact cause of it is unclear.

In addition to loss of cartilage, osteoarthritis can also cause:

  • Bone spurs around the joint.
  • Muscle weakness.
Diagnosing Your Arthritis

The first step in your arthritis care is understanding the signs. Common signs of arthritis include:

  • Dull or burning pain near joints.
  • Swelling and warmth in and around the joints.
  • A feeling of being able to move the joints less easily.
  • A feeling that the joints are grinding together.
  • A feeling that your joints are loose, or not as stable as they once were.
  • Cysts, or small bumps that appear around the joints.

Your doctor may use the following tests and procedures to diagnose arthritis:

  • A review of your medical history
  • Blood tests
  • Imaging tests, such as an X-ray
  • Physical exam 
Treating Your Arthritis

Treatment for arthritis focuses on reducing pain and inflammation and improving joint function. We offer the following treatments:

  • Alternative therapies, such as acupuncture or yoga
  • Assistive devices, such as braces or canes
  • Dietary supplements
  • Heat, ice and rest
  • Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight
  • Medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Surgery

We also work with our pain management team to help you manage your arthritis.

Conditions We Treat

The most common conditions our rheumatology team treats include the following:
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Septic arthritis

Services & Specialties

Our rheumatologists work with the following specialties to provide quality arthritis care:

Meet Our Team

Irena Gavanescu Stockton, MD
Irena Gavanescu Stockton, MD Specialty Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Vasileios Kyttaris, MD
Vasileios Kyttaris, MD Specialty Rheumatology

Make an Appointment

If you would like to speak to a member of our arthritis care team, please call.