Solutions for arthritis offered by specialized Orthopedic surgeon

Arthritis can be life-changing. It can have a devastating effect on the quality of life. It can prevent you from doing the things you enjoy and make the most mundane activities of everyday life excruciating or impossible.

Those suffering from constant arthritic pain of the hip or knee should seek a referral to an orthopedic surgeon. Orthopedic surgeons are specially trained in the treatment of bone and joint issues, such as arthritis, and have the training and a wide range of tools and techniques, from medications to joint replacement surgery, to relieve hip or knee arthritis pain.

All patients coming to me for arthritis are offered conservative treatment plans first, including anti-inflammatory medications, bracing, physical therapy and weight management. I also offer them exercises that help strengthen the affected extremity and can help manage their mobility and reduce pain.

Cortisone injections are helpful for patients with early arthritis. Once there is bone-on-bone disease these injections are not helpful. Cortisone injections can only be repeated every three to four months. Hyaluronic acid injections, such as Euflexxa, Synvisc, Supartz are FDA-approved for osteoarthritis of the knee ONLY. These injections play an anti-inflammatory role as well as deliver some lubrication for arthritic knee joints. Joint replacement surgery is considered only after conservative therapies are exhausted and the patient’s mobility and quality of life are continuing to decline. In fact, the decision to undergo total joint replacement is ALWAYS made by my patients. They have to decide if they want an ELECTIVE surgery only when their quality of life is obviously compromised. I find the involvement of family in those discussions to be greatly helpful.

Northwest Indiana arthritis sufferers are fortunate that Methodist Hospitals is employing the most advanced joint replacement surgery techniques close to home.

These techniques include tourniquet-less knee replacements with lower risk of blood clots and reduced thigh pain, computer navigated knees and anterior hip replacements. We are also employing superior pain control using nerve blocks that diminish pain but DO NOT affect patients ability to walk a few hours after surgery. These blocks and pain injections into the surgical joints during surgery allow patients to use less narcotics to avoid their side effects. Patients feel more “normal” and are eager to walk sooner and go home earlier with great confidence in their new joint.

Your mobility and independence depend on the health of your hip and knee joints. Don’t hesitate to seek a referral to the specialized care an orthopedic surgeon can deliver.

Vineet P. Shah, DO, is a Methodist Hospitals board-certified orthopedic surgeon with a fellowship in total joint replacement – hip and knee, and Medical Director of the Methodist Hospitals Total Joint Program.

Author
Dr. Vineet P. Shah Dr. Vineet P. Shah, DO with the Methodist Physician Group Orthopedic and Spine Center in Merrillville, Indiana specializes in joint replacement surgeries, among other things. Dr. Shah's expertise focuses on advanced reconstructive techniques for anterior hip replacement, carpal tunnel release, knee arthroscopy, and orthopedic trauma. He believes in using both surgical and non-surgical methodologies to provide his patients with safe and progressive healing options.

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