Your Treatment Options for Arthritis

Almost one-quarter of all American adults suffer from arthritis. Its debilitating effects are a leading cause of workplace disability claims. 

Arthritis treatments can help you regain lost mobility and keep your independence. Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael Hood of Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine has treated hundreds of patients who have arthritis, providing customized treatments based on their needs. Following are treatment options for your arthritis. 

Medications

Medications are the first line of defense. They can calm joint inflammation, but they’re temporary solutions. Dr. Hood can order prescription-strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but they have side effects; long-term use can cause kidney damage. 

If you haven’t already tried it, he may also suggest trying a cream with capsaicin in it; you rub it on the joint to help ease pain. 

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, Dr. Hood may prescribe an antirheumatic drug such as methotrexate, among others, to help your immune system stop harming your joints. Genetically engineered drugs, called biologic response modifiers, act on protein molecules in your immune system; they’re another option. You may be familiar with some of the brand names such as Enbrel® and Remicade®.  

Physical therapy 

Physical therapy has helped thousands of arthritis patients continue to live independently by increasing their mobility. Your therapist leads you through gentle range-of-motion movements as well as exercises that strengthen the muscles around the joint to help support it adequately. 

The therapist uses a range of active and passive approaches that can lessen your pain and increase your mobility. They include massage, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and heat or ice. Your job is to practice specific exercises at home every day between appointments and continue using these exercises as a part of your everyday routine. 

Injections

If you’re looking for relief of severe pain when you visit Dr. Hood’s office, he can usually alleviate it temporarily with a steroid injection such as cortisone or a hyaluronic acid injection. He injects the solution into the joint, and you should feel some relief within two or three days, if not sooner. 

The effects of the injections may last three months or more, depending on the condition of your joint. Hyaluronic acid injections may help some patients with arthritis more than painkillers

Injections are also an option if you can’t take NSAIDs. That gives you and Dr. Hood time to decide if a surgical option is the next step. 

Platelet-rich plasma 

Although not standard practice yet, many physicians, including Dr. Hood, are using platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to help relieve arthritis pain. A technician draws your blood for your PRP treatment. It’s spun in a machine called a centrifuge, where a massive number of platelets are collected from your blood; the platelets contain rich nutrients that have healing properties. 

The reconstituted blood is injected back into your painful joint. Nutrient-rich PRP rushes to your painful joint, increasing joint lubrication and calming inflammation. It may act to heal cartilage and/or help form new cartilage, easing your pain. 

Surgery 

Dr. Hood provides surgical options for relief of knee arthritis. Depending on your knee health, Dr. Hood may select an Arthrex® Intraosseous Bioplasty™ procedure to repair knee arthritis. He uses PRP or calcium phosphate to help you regain knee stability and pain relief. He also performs partial and full joint replacement surgery for the knee. 

Call or book an appointment online with Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine for arthritis relief and all of your musculoskeletal needs. There are offices in West Memphis, Arkansas, and Collierville, Tennessee. You can also send a message to Dr. Hood and the team here on the website.

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