Treatment for Orthopedic Conditions

Orthopedic conditions include a range of injuries, trauma and conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system. Common orthopedic conditions include osteoarthritis, tendinitis, bursitis, bone fractures, carpal tunnel syndrome and many sports injuries. Many are caused by overuse, age or wear and tear on the joints and tendons. Some begin with an injury or trauma, but can become chronic and degenerative if not treated properly. The treatment for orthopedic conditions varies, but most have common features.

Drug Treatment

Doctors may prescribe medication as treatment for orthopedic conditions for a number of different reasons, including:

* Pain relief: pain relievers include OTC and prescription pain relievers, as well as topical analgesics

* Anti-inflammation: to reduce inflammation that often accompanies joint and muscle injuries. The medications used include NSAIDs and corticosteroids

* Lubricants: in some conditions, specifically osteoarthritis, treatment may include injections of hyaluronic acid to provide cushioning and lubrication for the joint.

Physical Therapy

Most orthopedic conditions respond well to a combination of physical therapy, exercises and chronic pain management. In addition, doctors and therapists may recommend splints, braces and other medical devices to immobilize and support the joint or affected area.

Surgical Treatment

Surgical treatment for orthopedic conditions ranges from bone realignment to reduce knee pain to hip or knee replacement. Surgeons may perform surgery to repair injured tendons, or to clear away bone chips that have worn away after cartilage has been compromised. In serious cases of bursitis, surgeons may surgically drain inflamed bursae, or, in very rare cases, remove an affected bursa.

Lifestyle and Home Remedies

The most common home and lifestyle remedies for orthopedic conditions include rest, physical therapy and changing the way a person performs routine tasks to avoid aggravating the injured or stressed joint. People with painful or swollen joints may apply ice or heat to reduce pain and inflammation, and avoid placing weight or pressure on the injured joints.

Alternative Therapies

Alternative therapies can be very helpful for many types of orthopedic conditions. In fact, many mainstream doctors routinely prescribe treatment, such as massage and acupuncture, for orthopedic conditions that used to be considered alternative treatments.

Stem Cell Therapy for Orthopedic Conditions

Stem cell therapy is an exciting new option in treatment for orthopedic conditions, particularly those that involve joint damage and/or the loss of cartilage. Stem cells are the body’s repair mechanism, dispatched to the site of an injury so that they can repair damaged cells and spark the growth of new, healthy cells. Many doctors have had great success using stem cell treatments to avoid knee replacement surgery, for example, and many athletes routinely use stem cell treatment for orthopedic conditions including pitcher’s shoulder and other joint stress injuries.