4 Arthritis Treatments to Try Before Surgery

Arthritis Treatments, OrthoWellness, Dr. Mirylsa Colón-Martínez

Arthritis can be incredibly frustrating to deal with, especially since there’s seemingly no end in sight. This progressive disease wears down your joints, little by little, in a process that brings to mind a death by a thousand cuts. But instead of fighting back with your own cutting via surgery, you can take a gentler approach that may be equally as effective.

Here at OrthoWellness in Boca Raton, Florida, we’re fortunate to have the guidance of Dr. Mirylsa Colón-Martínez, who is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Despite her extensive training and expertise, Dr. Colón-Martínez understands that not everything can, or should, be solved through surgical intervention. At least, not right off the bat.

If you’re suffering from debilitating arthritis, we’d like to give you the opportunity to explore some very effective alternatives to surgery, which we offer here at our practice. Here are 4 services that help our patients regain pain-free movement without the need for surgery.

1. Physical therapy

Your joints are far more than areas where a few bones come together. Your joints provide support, mobility, range of motion, and shock absorption, and to do this they rely on a lot more than just your bones.

Surrounding your joints are a host of soft-tissue and connective-tissue players, such as your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These groups of tissue are critical to the overall function of your joint, and when any area breaks down, they can jump into action to pick up the slack.

With arthritis, your cartilage begins to break down, allowing your bones to rub together painfully. Through physical therapy, we can strengthen the soft tissue surrounding your joint to relieve some of the pressure. We can also battle the stiffness caused by inflammation through stretching exercises that promote better range of motion.

2. Platelet-rich plasma therapy

Another great way to tackle arthritis is to tap another resource in your body — your platelets. Your blood contains four ingredients — red and white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. While your platelets are widely known for their role in clotting your blood, they also contain hundreds of proteins, including growth factors.

So not only do your platelets flood an injured area to stop you from bleeding too much, they also arrive with reinforcements that help your body rebuild and repair damaged tissue.

Using platelet-rich plasma therapy, we isolate your platelets and redirect them to areas where your body can use a healing boost.

3. Viscosupplementation

As we’ve discussed, the pain and stiffness brought on by arthritis comes on the heels of a breakdown in your cartilage. Cartilage and a viscous synovial fluid are substances that allow your bones to glide smoothly across one another. Your joints count on hyaluronic acid in the synovial fluid for lubrication, further allowing them to move freely.

With viscosupplementation, we boost your levels of lubrication by injecting hyaluronic acid directly into your joint capsule. These injections add cushioning and reduce friction within your joint, which helps restore pain-free movement. When coupled with physical therapy, viscosupplementation can greatly reduce the effects of arthritis.

4. Stem cell therapy

There’s a lot of buzz about stem cells in medical circles, and for good reason. Stem cells are fascinating because of their unique ability to become other kinds of cells and divide and multiply as that cell type.

Most of the cells in your body are designed for one purpose only, but stem cells are known as undifferentiated cells, meaning they’re not devoted to any single task. Instead, they lie in wait in your tissue and only activate when they’re called in to help regenerate tissue.

Stem cells are strongest during fetal development, but as an adult you still have stem cells in your body — they just aren’t as numerous or as powerful as they were in the beginning of your life.

With stem cell therapy, we harvest your stem cells and inject them directly into your arthritic joints to promote regeneration on a cellular level. In effect, we’re bypassing your body’s slower systems and redirecting your stem cells. Once there, your stem cells call in additional resources (such as other stem cells), creating an amplified healing response.

 

If you’d like to explore any of these 4 alternatives to surgery a little further, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Or you can use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.

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