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With these symptoms and your history, I would suggest consulting a rheumatologist.
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Since the initiating event is the vaccination, this is most likely due to autoantibodies that may have developed post vaccination. Also due to your numerous other symptoms besides the joint symptom makes it more worthwhile to consult a rheumatologist.
An orthopedic surgeon is a surgeon who deals with conditions involving the bones such as fractures and other bone diseases. A rheumatologist is not a surgeon but an internal medicine physician or a pediatrician, who is further specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disease and systemic autoimmune conditions.
Yes it can happen initially. However more concerning are the associated symptoms and therefore an autoantibody panel is recommended which can be ordered by a rheumatologist and interpreted correctly by this specialist.
Even if the tests were negative, a rheumatologist being a physician trained in internal medicine would be better able to manage your other symptoms such as breathlessness, fatigue, persistent cough in addition to your musculoskeletal complaints.
Yes but his/her background knowledge (since being an internal medicine doctor) in dealing with other complaints such as breathlessness, fatigue, persistent cough will be much stronger than an orthopedic surgeon. Also a rheumatologist will be able to correlate these symptoms better with the musculoskeletal symptoms.
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But your other symptoms such as breathlessness, fatigue, persistent cough also need to be put in context and treated. Regarding the joint symptom the rheumatologist will be able to diagnose it also and if required he/she will refer you to an orthopedic surgeon.
Yes you are correct, sometimes a team of doctors need to mutually consult each other and arrive at a diagnosis.