Rheumatic Diseases


Emel OZCAN , MD, Professor

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) outpatient clinic has been executed by Prof. Dr. Emel Özcan and Prof. Dr. Ayşe Karan since March 1998. Prof. Dr. Resa Aydın has contributed to the establishment of the outpatient AS clinic.
Purpose of Establishment
  • The goal of the Ankylosing Spondylitis outpatient clinic is to provide information to the patients with AS
  • To conduct training seminars to achieve this goal
  • To treat and monitor the patients
  • To conduct group exercise programs with rehabilitation purpose.

What We Do

In our outpatient clinic, a drug and exercise program is initiated according to the degree of the disease activity after definitive diagnosis is being established according to the current classification of American College of Rheumatology (ACR). Apart from ACR criteria, the functional status of the individuals are also determined using ICF criteria of the World Health Organization and tailor-made environmental solutions are recommended. The patient’s ability to cope with his/her disease is strengthened with leaflets and patient training programs. Exercise strategies are planned as to provide conservation of his/her energy and to protect his/her joints. Custom-made treatment options are selected from the paraffin bath to laser therapy under the light of scientific evidences. Acupuncture, intra-articular corticosteroid injection, ozone injection, and major hemotherapy which is particularly effective in systemic diseases, are all performed in our outpatient clinic. Custom-made braces and orthosis are also part of the treatment in the early period to prevent joint deformities. Patients put on drug treatment are closely monitored for their liver and kidney functions and disease activity. A stringent monitoring is performed for the side effects of TNF-alpha inhibitors which were recently introduced into the practice and the drug is administered in the hospital setting.
To date, 9 patient training seminars have been conducted and 120 patients were provided with detailed information about the disease after which preventive measures and exercises were taught and discussed in practical training. 23 patients recruited to the intense exercise program as groups having 4 subjects in each. Posture, respiration, stretching, strengthening and aerobic exercises were performed in 3 days of the week for 6 weeks by the physiotherapist under the supervision of a physician.
Patient training manual was prepared for the patients. It was designed as the primary reference book for the patients and that, disease facts, preventive measures and exercises were mentioned in depth.

Working Days

“Ankylosing Spondylitis” Outpatient Clinic located in the outpatient building of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department of Istanbul Faculty of Medicine serves on Wednesdays between 8:30-12:30.

How to Apply?

After scheduling an appointment from general outpatient clinic of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department of Istanbul University Faculty of Medicine by dialing 0 (212) 414 20 00, patients examined by the physician in outpatient clinic are directed to the Ankylosing Spondylitis outpatient clinic.

The majority of the patients are referred by the general outpatient clinic and lecturers of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department of Istanbul Faculty of Medicine and the remaining are referred from the Rheumatology Discipline of Internal Medicine Department of Istanbul Faculty of Medicine and from the lecturers of other branches.