Surgery, while commonly performed to treat a broad range of musculoskeletal problems, including arthritis, sports injuries, and occupational injuries, is not always the best approach. First of all, surgery is often the last resort recommended by doctors, barring severe injuries. For example, displaced fractures usually need surgery. For arthritis patients, non-surgical approaches are usually exhausted before recommending surgery.
An orthopedic doctor will let you know if you are a good candidate for non-surgical orthopedic treatment after a thorough exam and diagnostic imaging.
Non-Surgical Orthopedic Treatments
Examples of non-surgical treatments include oral medications, temperature therapy, interventional medicine, regenerative medicine, viscosupplementation, and physical therapy. Interventional medicine treatments include corticosteroid injections, nerve blocks, radiofrequency ablation, and spinal cord stimulation.
Examples of regenerative medicine include stem cell therapy and PRP therapy. Good candidates of stem cell therapy include individuals who are active and generally in good health. If you have been recommended surgery, stem cell therapy may be able to delay it. Osteoarthritis patients can benefit from stem cell therapy.
Physical therapy and rehabilitation are also part of comprehensive non-surgical treatments. For this, anyone with musculoskeletal conditions is a good candidate. Physical therapy programs are highly individualized and tailored to the patient. It also includes other modalities such as temperature therapy, massage therapy, myofascial release, ultrasound, traction, and orthotics.
Who Is The Best Candidate for These Treatments?
The best candidates for these treatments are patients with mild to moderate orthopedic conditions who do not wish to go under the knife. Joint pain and stiffness, sprains and strains, overuse injuries, non-displaced fractures, and ligament tears may not always need surgery.
Commitment to physical therapy sessions and rehabilitation makes a good candidate for non-surgical orthopedic treatments. For example, interventional treatments are administered every few months or so, and physical therapy exercises are performed at least once a day.
With a commitment to treatment sessions and recovery, non-surgical orthopedic treatments can relieve pain, restore strength and function to injured body parts/joints, and improve range of motion.
Why Do Patients Want to Avoid Surgery?
There is a reason why surgery is the last resort. Surgery usually involves a long recovery period, scarring, pain, and a higher risk of complications. Even minimally invasive joint replacement surgeries involve a recovery period that may last several months depending on the patient’s condition and overall health. Most sports injuries and work-related injuries can be treated with rest, activity modification, bracing/splinting, injection therapy, and physical therapy.
Non-Surgical Orthopedic Treatments in Austin, TX
While surgery is a great way to fix problems when no other treatments will work, it is not always necessary. At All-Star Orthopedics, our orthopedic surgeons believe in exploring all non-surgical orthopedic treatments in the management of degenerative diseases and injuries.
We strive to provide relief and restore function, and delay or completely avoid the need for surgery. However, should you need surgery, our orthopedic surgeons are highly skilled and experienced in the latest, minimally-invasive techniques which reduce complication risk and involve a shorter recovery period. To schedule a consultation with an orthopedic doctor, call (512) 346-4933 or use our appointment request form now.