When using “arthritis treatment” and “orthopedic surgeon” in the same sentence, it’s only natural to assume that the treatment involved will be surgical. Yet, the most advanced treatments for arthritis are completely nonsurgical… and are often more effective. Here’s a closer look at the two primary nonsurgical options I use for arthritis treatment.
The idea behind joint preservation is to maintain the existing cartilage while slowing down the progression of the disease. There are a few different approaches that can help with this:
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) – By collecting a small amount of the patient’s own blood and spinning it through a centrifuge, the platelets are isolated and concentrated. Platelets have growth and healing factors; when injected into an arthritic joint, the inflammatory response is dramatically decreased.
- Viscosupplementation – One reason a healthy joint moves easily is due to lubrication; arthritis compromises this fluid movement. Viscosupplementation is an injection of synthetic lubricant that helps improve joint pain by facilitating smoother motion again.
- Additional Options – Losing excess weight, wearing an unloader brace for more even force distribution and physical therapy with strengthening exercises can all work together to help insulate the joint against the progression of arthritis.
Joint restoration is the newest and most exciting treatment for arthritic joints. First, we isolate stem cells from bone marrow and adipose (fat) tissue, and then inject them directly into the affected joint. The stem cells regrow into cartilage, repairing the damage caused by arthritis. Stem cell therapy can be combined with PRP for greater impact. The results are visible over the next few months, and the procedure involves little to no risk.