1970-2000 The largest separate unit
The lease with the Rheumatism Foundation Hospital terminated at the beginning of the 1990s. At the same time Pikonlinna obtained new posts for physician- nurse teams, which helped to intensify activities considerably. Dr. Matti Lehto started as an assistant chief in charge of arthritis surgery and dr. Mauri Lehtimäki as a senior ward physician. The operating rooms were renovated. The outpatient department of rheumatology obtained posts for a department secretary and a typist.
Dr. Markku Korpela was appointed as department head in 2000 after dr.Yli-Kerttula went on a partial retirement. The activities of rheumatolgy and arthritis surgery were joined in 2002, to create a co-operative service unit; the Centre for Rheumatic Diseases, for fulfilling the needs of rheumatology. The Centre for Rheumatic Diseases was offered renovated facilities in the main hospital, and it moved to those premises on 1st, Aug, 2005.
Today outcomes for treatment of rheumatism are good. The initial goal is remission, the subsequent pursuit of curative therapy is secondary before creation of notable permanent changes. Hospital beds are needed only in the treatment of the most serious and complicated cases. The Centre for Rheumatic Diseases has less than ten beds at its disposal. The need for several rheumasurgical procedures that were common earlier, such as debridement of joints and tendon, has decreased and resources can thus be directed in a new manner, for example, towards joint prosthesis surgery, which is related to degenerative arthritis.