When you come to Stevens Point Orthopedics with a joint issue, the first thing we do is sit down with you and talk. We ask you to give us a history of your problem: when and how it started, how it feels, and treatments you’ve tried.
We’ll also review your health history looking for medical conditions that may be causing or contributing to your pain. We’ll check your range of motion and strength, and do tests that can uncover specific problems.
Sometimes we order X-rays or MRIs to visualize your bones and soft tissues. X-rays can show fractures, spurs, and changes from arthritis. MRIs can show more bone detail, as well as soft-tissue damage like ligament or muscle tears.
From there, we can diagnose the problem, and get you on the road to recovery and a life of more movement and less pain.
Treating your pain depends on the diagnosis and severity of your symptoms, but we often start with non-surgical pain treatment methods.
Lifestyle modifications include resting the painful area, avoiding painful situations, and doing gentle motion exercises or exercises to strengthen weak muscles.
Medications can help with some conditions. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help control pain, and non-steroidal medications like ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) can relieve inflammation.
Viscosupplementation Injections lubricate an affected joint, helping relieve arthritis pain.
Cortisone injections target a specific spot in a joint using a powerful anti-inflammatory medication. Numbing medications in the injection help us know if the injected spot is the pain source.
Physical or occupational therapy focuses on getting your muscles and joints to work together. Physical therapists identify and address muscle imbalances through corrective exercises – including take-home exercises.
Braces can help stabilize the affected area.
Surgery may be an option for certain conditions if all other treatment options have been exhausted. Although many surgeries require traditional open surgery, some conditions may be treated with arthroscopy, using small incisions and a special camera to see inside the body.
For more information on the surgical process, read this helpful blog post:
After surgery, your surgeon will tell you and your family what they found and inform you of any limitations you may have. You may require crutches or a sling until you can move comfortably. If more intensive work was done, you may need to use crutches or a sling for a few weeks and avoid placing stress on the repaired area.
It can be hard to care for yourself after these procedures, and you may find you need extra help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
In 10-14 days, patients will meet with either their surgeon or a physician’s assistant to discuss:
- Your surgery
- What was found
- Your recovery process
- Your timetable for returning to activities
- When you can expect to no longer have pain
Let’s discuss your options. Contact us to book an appointment.