Arthritis Treatment: Non-Surgical And Surgical Options

Man suffering from knee pain sitting sofa. A mature man massaging his painful knee. Man suffering from knee pain at home, closeup. Pain knee

Arthritis Treatment: Non-Surgical And Surgical Options

Did you know that arthritis–both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, along with other varieties–is a leading cause of disability among American adults and children? As concerning as this sounds, there are many effective arthritis treatments available from your orthopedic specialists in Gunnison and Crested Butte, CO.

Causes of Arthritis

The pain, stiffness, and inflammation characteristic of arthritis can severely limit day-to-day activities, sports participation, job-related tasks, and more. With osteoarthritis, the most common kind of this degenerative orthopedic condition, joint cartilage deteriorates–usually over time but also due to injuries, such as those from car accidents and competitive sports.

Additionally, age, gender (being a woman), pregnancy, obesity, and smoking may contribute to the severity of arthritis. Healthy eating, good hydration, and light aerobic exercise (swimming, biking, and walking) help stave off its onset and manage symptoms if they do develop.

Diagnosing And Treating Arthritis

While arthritis cannot be cured per se, its symptoms can be well managed and joint damage limited. Your orthopedic surgeon in Crested Butte and Gunnison, CO, will carefully assess your symptoms, and medical and lifestyle history, and perform a hands-on exam and digital imaging tests to determine the kind and severity of your arthritis. From there, they can recommend ways to treat arthritis, whether it is in the spine, hip, ankle, foot, hand, shoulder, or knee.

Here are just some of the innovative treatment modalities your arthritis care plan at gO Orthopedics may include.

Physical Therapy

Tailored according to a patient’s measurable functional capacity and symptoms, physical therapy involves a number of treatment modalities, such as:

  • Active and passive range of motion exercises
  • Stretching
  • Massage therapy
  • Transcutaneous nerve stimulation, or TENS
  • Assistive devices, such as braces, canes, walkers, bandaging, and more
  • Education on how to accomplish daily tasks and movements with less pain, better balance, and optimal safety

Pain Medications

Ibuprofen is a commonly used over-the-counter medication to lessen arthritis pain. In limited use, some opiates may help control the most severe pain until another modality begins to take effect.

Additionally, today’s biologics often help people with rheumatoid and other severely inflammatory forms of arthritis.


Most patients are surprised to learn that an orthopedic surgeon does not always select a surgical option to treat arthritis. Conservative measures are always the first choice.

However, when non-operative treatments are not effective, surgery may restore the ability to move, improve independence, and relieve the pain and stiffness so common to all kinds of arthritis.

Today’s best-known surgical option is joint arthroplasty or total joint replacement. Most often used on the arthritic hip and knee, this innovative procedure removes the damaged portions of a joint and installs customized plastic or metal replacement parts.

Other surgical treatments include synovectomy, which revises the damaged joint lining (synovium) in the knee joint. A joint fusion removes damaged joint components and permanently stabilizes a joint to avoid pain and additional wear and tear. Osteotomy can realign and reshape joints such as the jaw, shoulder, knee, hip, and more.

Injection Therapy

Cortisone injections help many arthritis patients with joint inflammation and associated pain. For some, however, a better choice may viscosupplementation, which utilizes hyaluronic acid to improve joint lubrication in the knee. PRP therapy, or platelet-rich plasma therapy, uses the patient’s blood platelets in concentrated form to speed healing and joint refurbishment.

Where Can I Find Excellent Arthritis Treatment Near Me?

At gO Orthopedics, our board-certified orthopedic specialist is Dr. Blake Clifton. He is known for delivering astute and compassionate musculoskeletal care for patients of all ages.

Whether you have a repetitive motion injury, have suffered a fall, or simply have aged into arthritis, the team at gO Orthopedics can help you move well, limit damage, and manage pain. Call our office to arrange an in-depth consultation at either of our two locations–Crested Butte or Gunnison. Call (910) 641-8899 today.

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