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What are the Different Kinds of Orthopedic Treatments?

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  • Written By: Jami Yontz
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2016
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Orthopedic treatments are an option for anyone who has injured a muscle, joint, or ligament and needs various forms of rehabilitation or surgery to treat pain, inflammation, stiffness, or other complications. There are many kinds of orthopedic treatments available, including wearing a brace, rehabilitation exercises, and surgery. Various types of medications and injections are also used during orthopedic treatments. Orthopedic therapy options should be discussed with a physician or orthopedic surgeon to determine the right course of treatment for the person’s lifestyle and specific injury.

Braces are used to stabilize the muscles or joints, reduce pressure, prevent further injuries, and to restrict movement to allow the part of the body to heal properly. A physician can either have a specialty brace constructed for the person or instruct the patient on the right type of brace to purchase. There are knee, neck, back, wrist and forearm, shoulder, arm, and ankle braces available. Braces come in various different sizes, styles, and materials, so each person should be able to find the right brace for his or her specific injury and rehabilitation needs.

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Many injuries are initially treated by a physical therapist to prevent or delay the need for invasive surgical procedures. A physical therapist will work with the patient to increase his or her range of motion and strength. By building up the muscles surrounding the injured muscle or ligament, the person will increase the stability of the part of the body and will decrease the amount of pain. Stretching the muscles will also help with the stiffness many people feel, and may help prevent scar tissue from forming.

Surgery is an option for people with severe pain or conditions that cannot be treated through other less invasive methods. Arthroscopic surgery is a common procedure where the surgeon makes tiny incisions and inserts a small camera and surgical instruments to visualize and repair joints and ligaments. In open orthopedic surgery, larger cuts are made to visualize the area. Surgery can be performed to repair rotator cuff tears, join arthritis, biceps tendinitis, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, and other joint and muscles injuries.

Medications and injections are sometimes prescribed by a physician as a method of orthopedic treatments to reduce pain and inflammation. Cortisone injections are prescribed to help reduce severe inflammation caused by arthritis, bone spurs, or irritated tendons. Sometimes the inflammation can also cause pinched nerves. Anti-inflammatories, anti-convulsants, and topical anesthetics are another alternative treatment to reduce pain and inflammation. Supplements, such as glucosamine chondroitin, are sometimes suggested to patients with orthopedic problems to naturally build the cartilage and reduce the amount of joint pain they may experience.

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