Our orthopedic physicians prefer a non-surgical approach, using surgery as a last resort. The physicians are experts at diagnosing pain and finding the most appropriate physical therapy or ambulatory aids.
The Center's physicians often employ a number of non-surgical treatment options, including anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, orthotics, cortisone injections and/or hyaluronic acid injections to relieve their patients' joint pain and stiffness.
Arthroscopic debridement is another treatment option that has generated variable success. In many cases, however, joint replacement surgery may be the best option.
In the event you need surgery, the first contact with patients includes an orthopedic evaluation consisting of several components, including a medical history; a physical examination to assess range of motion, stability, strength and alignment; X-rays to determine the extent of damage and occasionally blood tests, an MRI or bone scan. After the evaluation and diagnosis, treatment options are discussed. Patients are made aware of all potential risks or complications associated with a procedure before making the decision to have elective surgery. One of the deciding factors is understanding what the procedure can and cannot accomplish. St. Luke's physicians take time with each patient to explain the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment option, so an informed decision can be made.