Like 50 million other Americans, you have arthritis. It might be in your hands, hips, or knees, but wherever it is, you are looking for relief from the pain and stiffness that prevent you from performing routine tasks and participating in the pursuits you enjoy. You might have talked to your primary care doctor and even consulted a rheumatologist, but you are still suffering. If this sounds like you, it's time to talk to an orthopedic surgeon about options you might not have considered yet. From state-of-the-art therapies to surgical solutions, our specialists will help you navigate a new treatment path.
What Does Arthritis Care From an Orthopedist Look Like?
At Northwest Extremity Specialists, we provide arthritis care for patients who suffer from any one of the over 100 diseases that affect joint health. We have supported patients with diseases in the following categories:
- Osteoarthritis. The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis is caused by overuse and wear and tear over many years and is often age-related. However, that does not mean it cannot be treated!
- Inflammatory arthritis. Diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune conditions affect the lining of joints, causing chronic pain and stiffness.
- Post-traumatic arthritis. An injury to a joint can result in ongoing stiffness, inflammation, and pain in the joint even after the initial fracture or dislocation has healed.
- Septic arthritis. Some types of viral, bacterial, and fungal infections can cause permanent damage to joints.
The type of arthritis you have might impact your treatment options, but the goal remains the same—to relieve pain and restore flexibility and mobility. Our team will start with the conservative measures you haven't yet tried, such as oral medications, physical therapy, and modifications to activities that cause pain. In some cases, cutting-edge injection therapy might be an effective treatment. If you only experience temporary relief from these efforts, we might consider surgical intervention.
Surgery to Relieve Arthritis Pain
While surgery is always a last resort, it can be an effective solution for many people who have suffered from joint pain and stiffness for years. There are several surgical procedures that can relieve the pain caused by arthritis, and your orthopedic surgeon will suggest the least-invasive option for your specific condition. Surgical options include:
- Arthroscopy. This minimally invasive type of surgery involves inserting a scope and special surgical instruments through small incisions in the skin. This procedure can be used to repair torn cartilage, smooth joint surfaces, remove the inflamed lining of joints, and extract bone spurs and loose tissue.
- Joint replacement. A severely worn joint might need to be replaced in order to provide the patient with mobility and pain relief. Joint replacement surgeries—particularly knee and hip replacements—are some of the most common and successful surgeries performed in the U.S. With a new prosthetic joint, the patient can regain full mobility and live a pain-free life.
- Joint fusion. Often used in smaller joints—such as the fingers, wrist, and ankles—fusion surgery removes the painful joint and fuses the two bones together, making one rigid unit. While this procedure does not restore mobility, it can provide much-needed pain relief in patients who suffer from arthritis of the hands, in particular.
No doctor—even orthopedic surgeons—recommend surgery lightly. Our goal is to help you overcome the pain and limitations imposed by arthritis, and if all other treatments have failed and we think the next step is surgery, we will make sure you are entirely comfortable with the process. Like other types of orthopedic surgery, surgery for arthritis will require time, patience, and rehab to fully recover, and our team will be with you every step of the way.
Looking for New Arthritis Treatment Options? Contact Northwest Extremity Specialists
You do not have to suffer in silence from debilitating arthritis pain. The skilled orthopedic surgeons at Northwest Extremity Specialists have options for conservative, moderate, and aggressive treatments, and we will develop a treatment plan to ensure the best possible outcome for you. Call us today at 503-245-2420 to make an appointment in the Portland-area office closest to you.