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What is Non-Surgical Orthopedics?

Orthopedic medicine was initially established to treat acute trauma injuries. And, of course, broken bones! Initially, the wounds from the battlefields resulted in amputation. Thus forcing the expansion of orthopedic techniques. Over time, orthopedic surgery has constantly evolved. It has proven much appreciated for severe joint conditions and bone injuries.

However, with time, people began to understand that surgery does not really work to heal ligamentous tears, tendons, or less severe joint issues. Meanwhile, injuries to muscles, joints, and bones might be complex sometimes. Luckily, on a lot of occasions, such wounds can be treated without any surgery. Such methods are useful to heal any damage to the musculoskeletal system via non-invasive treatment options or non-surgical orthopedics.

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Even though it might not be an option for some major deformities or injuries. Still, a lot of patients opt for nonsurgical orthopedics as their first option before they turn to surgery. In order to make you understand this concept better, here is all you need to know:

Non-Surgical Orthopedic Doctor

Generally, a non-surgical orthopedic doctor is certified in medicine. This includes internal medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine, or any other field. These experts have additional training in the treatment and diagnosis of musculoskeletal injuries. However, they only pay attention to treating those issues without any surgery. These treatment options often revolve around the following:

  1. Physical therapy programs
  2. Initial diagnosis and imaging
  3. Orthotics, casts, or bracing
  4. Oral anti-inflammatories or other medications
  5. Viscosupplementation – gel shots that serve no less than lubrication for a joint
  6. Steroids or cortisone injections to reduce pain and inflammation
  7. Regenerative medicine, such as platelet-rich plasma injections, stem cell therapy, etc.

The aim of non-surgical orthopedic specialists is to help the patient steer clear of surgery. They need to understand that the more surgical (invasive) treatment options they will use, the more tissue will damage. This is not it, but there will be a heightened risk for a number of complications as compared to that with an injection or therapy.

However, a lot of sports injuries or musculoskeletal problems might need surgery. These injuries are usually acute, including recurrent dislocations, ligament tears, displaced fractures, etc.

Moreover, they are also useful for chronic conditions such as arthritis that might not be responsive to conventional treatments.

Physical Therapy

Rehabilitation/physical therapy is one of the most popular non surgical orthopedic treatments. In such treatment, patients can gain movement slowly. This happens by gradually strengthening the joints and muscles around the area having injuries. Some of the major examples of cases where doctors recommend this treatment are:

  1. Sprains
  2. Neck Pain
  3. Strains
  4. Back Pain
  5. Scoliosis
  6. Arthritis
  7. Fractures and much more

In many conditions, doctors also suggest physical therapy right after surgery. Physical therapy can also be used as a straightforward treatment for some orthopedic requirements. Physical therapists get special training to develop programs and implement them to match individual requirements.

Orthopedic Surgeons

An orthopedic doctor is an expert in diagnosing orthopedic issues. They also prescribe or perform treatments and help with rehabilitation. They can also aid in developing long-term tactics to treat disorders and problems relating to your joints, tendons, and bones. There is a huge range of procedures which such medical experts can perform, such as:

  1. Hip
  2. Ankle
  3. Hand
  4. Knee
  5. Neck
  6. Spinal surgeries

Generally, they would attempt to treat any problem in the least intrusive manner possible. Needless to say, this attempt would not be surgery.

You may also read: Understanding the Basics of Elbow Tendons and Ligaments

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

Platelet Rich Plasma

A non surgical orthopedic treatment that is gaining popularity is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections. This technique is used to repair ligaments, tendons, damaged joints, etc. PRP is comparatively a simpler procedure. It results in a reduction in pain and helps to heal with little to no time at all. In a lot of cases, this treatment might be administered in about half an hour or so. It works by using a small sample of the patient’s own blood, eliminating the red blood cells by using a centrifuge. After that, the regenerative platelets are injected right at the area of injury. To help you understand where PRP can be effective, here is a list:

  1. Osteoarthritis
  2. Back Pain
  3. Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears
  4. Hip Pain
  5. Knee Pain


In most cases, medication can be given to reduce pain, stiffness, or swelling. There are a bunch of options for pain relief medicine that you can get without your doctor’s prescription. But sometimes, heavy medication is required. Here is an example for you: There is a powerful drug called corticosteroids. It can be used to promote healing and reduce inflammation from the injured sites. Thus, it might be prescribed as a probable treatment for joints impacted by arthritis. Similarly, a lot of other drugs and medications can be used to get rid of any pain, inflammation, etc., from an injured area without having to operate it.

Stem Cells

Our bodies are designed to heal themselves. Therefore, one of the most dynamic methods of regenerative medicine is stem cells. In order to ease healing, these cells can be taken out from healthy areas and injected into the areas of injury. In a lot of cases, experts take these stem cells right from the bone marrow – the elastic and soft interior of our bones. These cells are perfectly able to transform into any of the gazillions cells in our body. Due to this reason, they effectively adapt to the area of injury to speed up the entire recovery process.

Other Options

The non-surgical orthopedic treatments above are some of the most popular ones. However, there are a lot of other treatment options that you can consider. They might be any of the following:

Nerve Blocks

Such procedures can help greatly decrease or prevent pain at the site of injury. Nerve blocks can take many forms, but experts usually inject medication to eliminate pain in areas of injury.

RadioFrequency Ablations

In this pain relief technique, an electrical current is tailored with the help of radio waves to heat a nerve site. As a result, it blocks or decreases pain signals from going to the brain.

Trigger Finger Release

This procedure is able to ease and address the constriction in the tendon sheath to reestablish movement of any thumb or finger injuries. It makes it easier to bend your thumb or fingers easily and without any pain.

Lubrication Joint Injections

These injections are responsible for moistening and hydrating your joints. The best part is that they do not use any steroids. This reduces friction, reduces pain, & enhances joint function. This method is effective, especially when other techniques fail to work.

Carpal Tunnel Release

It is a minimally invasive technique. It is accountable for relieving pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. This pressure is the main cause behind the nerve-wracking carpal tunnel symptoms.

If you are willing to learn more about non-surgical treatment options, we suggest you seek help from reputed medical experts from Jersey Joint, Spine, & Regen. They have skills and expertise in non-surgical orthopedic treatments. Moreover, they will guide you according to your needs.

You may also read: Chiropractors vs. Physical Therapists

· What is an orthopedist?

An orthopedist is a medical expert who designs, prescribes, monitors, and fits external devices for patients. They do this to correct an injury or for patients who need more mobility. The goal of orthopedists is to ensure that the device, such as an ankle brace, fits perfectly and is comfortable for the patient. These devices can fit the ankle, foot, knee, and spine.

· Which orthopedic injuries can be treated non-surgically?

Popular conditions and injuries that we can treat with non-operative, conservative methods include:

  1. Acute strains
  2. Sprains
  3. Fractures
  4. Back pain
  5. Repetitive motion injuries
  6. Overuse injuries and many more conditions

The unique cases of patients, along with the evaluation of the physician, will help in determining the proper mode of treatment.

· What are the symptoms of a sprain?

Tenderness, swelling, bruising, and a bunch of motions are the most common symptoms of sprains. However, they can range from severe to mild, so it is significant to have a physician check your condition.

· What are minimally invasive orthopedist surgical techniques?

Minimally invasive orthopedic surgical techniques include arthroscopies and joint replacement. They also include ankle, elbow, hip, knee osteotomy (realignment), knee, shoulder, and wrist osteotomy.

Summing It All Up!

And that is all that you need to know about non-surgical orthopedics. So, no more getting into that horrific surgical room due to a minor problem. You can always opt for these methods to be safer and less intrusive. However, there might be instances when you need to opt for surgical treatments. In the end, it all narrows down to what your physician prescribes you on the basis of your condition. So, conduct your research. And maybe you can change your doctor’s mind and try a non-surgical option instead. The medical experts at Jersey Joint, Spine, & Regen possess enough experience and expertise. They make sure to conduct proper research on their patients’ histories and cases. This helps them to come up with the best possible treatments for their patients. So, without any second thoughts, we highly recommend you contact these maestros, and you will be relieved in no time.

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Jake Vernon

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