The two most common doctors that diagnose and treat joint pain are rheumatologists and orthopedic surgeons; many people face confusion over which one to visit. If you have persistent joint pain, your general practitioner may refer you to a rheumatologist – an internal specialist who focuses on the treatment of musculoskeletal pain and autoimmune diseases. According to WebMD, these doctors typically perform non-surgical treatments and utilize a host of remedies including (but not limited to) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to ease the disease’s symptoms, and corticosteroid injections – fast-acting anti-inflammatory drugs that reduce the activity and severity of arthritis.
Joint or musculoskeletal pain resulting from an injury, or moderate to severe arthritis, typically requires the skills and expertise of an orthopedic surgeon. Contrary to popular belief, orthopedic surgeons offer far more than invasive surgeries; in fact, reputable physicians in this field will choose cautious treatments in lieu of extreme measures when at all possible.
By investigating the physical or mechanical root of joint pain, an orthopedist will be able to discover the best course of treatment. This due diligence entails questioning the patient about their symptoms, researching medical and family history, and conducting either lab tests (blood work) or imaging (X-rays or MRIs).
Dr. Jeffrey Carroll and the team at Movement Orthopedics offer a myriad of alternative treatments for arthritis, including steroid injections, bracing, rehabilitative exercise, and platelet-rich plasma & stem cell therapy – injection treatments that harness your body’s blood cells or stem cells to jump-start the recuperation process. Unlike cortisone shots – which can only be given in moderation due to their long-term damaging effect on ligaments and tendons, PRP is natural and low risk. Many patients experience a reduction in pain and can avoid surgery altogether.
If permanent damage to the joints has hindered your mobility and stolen your independence, surgical intervention may be the only option. According to arthritis.org, joint replacement surgery can alleviate persistent pain and restore mobility. If you choose to undergo joint surgery, you’ll want to seek the help of a board-certified orthopedic surgeon. Helpful resources such as certificiationmatters.org make the vetting process quick & easy.
One cutting-edge procedure that is gaining a lot of attention is robotic knee surgery. Those suffering from osteoarthritis may benefit from this minimally-invasive surgical procedure. Utilizing the precision and power of robotic instruments, orthopedic surgeons such as Dr. Carroll can remove specific parts of the affected arthritic knee – leaving the healthy structures untouched. Are you suffering from osteoarthritis (OA)? You may want to consider this convenient and painless alternative to other extensive treatments; it has proven successful in reducing inflammation and increasing agility. It also offers much more natural post-operative results when compared to full knee surgery
Don’t play the waiting game. If you’re suffering from arthritic pain, or have experienced a recent injury, it’s always best to act sooner than later. Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis; however, an orthopedic specialist can put you in the express lane to recovery. For more information, call Movement Orthopedics at (586) 436-3785 or request an appointment online.
* Arthritis Foundation®