New Delhi: At a time when 22 crore people are caught in the deadly grip of Orthopedic problems like rheumatoid arthritis, spondlitis and other bone/ligament related ailments, the Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology department of All Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is facing crunch of Rheumatology specialists . At present there are only 25-30 specialists in the institute.

“Nearly 18 percent of the population is affected by some form of Rheumatic Musco-skeletal problems. Owing to lack of awareness, patients generally visit orthopedics. Ironically there are only few specialised doctors in the country to deal with the painful disorders of joints and muscles,” said head of Rehumatology centre, AIIMS, Dr Uma Kumar.

According to Kumar, any kind of pain in the joints is not the symptom of arthritis. It is a misconception that joint problems begin with old age. It can affect any age group.