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Nonsurgical Treatments

What is nonsurgical treatment?

Nonsurgical treatment in orthopedics refers to therapeutic approaches used to manage musculoskeletal conditions without resorting to surgical intervention. These treatments are often employed as first-line options and in cases where surgery is not feasible or necessary. The goal of nonsurgical treatments is to alleviate pain, improve function, and enhance the quality of life for patients with orthopedic conditions.

RICE is an acronym commonly used as first aid to denote a treatment method for acute soft tissue injuries such as sprains, strains, and bruises. The acronym stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. RICE helps manage pain, reduce swelling, and speed up the recovery process. It is not a substitute for professional care.

  • Rest: This involves limiting movement and activity to avoid further injury and allow the healing process to begin. Resting helps prevent additional strain on the injured area, which can exacerbate the injury and prolong recovery time.
  • Ice: Applying ice or a cold pack to the injured area reduces swelling and numbs the pain. Ice should be applied for about 15-20 minutes every two to three hours during the initial 48 hours following the injury. It’s important to avoid applying ice directly to the skin to prevent frostbite; instead, wrap it in a towel or cloth.
  • Compression: Using a bandage or wrap to apply gentle pressure to the injured area helps reduce swelling. The compression should be snug but not too tight, as excessive tightness can impede circulation and worsen the injury.
  • Elevation: Elevating the injured area above the level of the heart reduces swelling by decreasing blood flow to the area. This can be done by propping up the injured limb with pillows or another support.

  • Physical Therapy: Tailored exercise programs are designed to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility, and improve range of motion to reduce pain and restore function. Physical therapy can be crucial for recovery from injuries and in managing chronic orthopedic conditions.
  • Medications: Various medications, including over-the-counter pain relievers (like acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), prescription painkillers, and corticosteroids, can be used to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Activity Modification: Adjusting daily activities and avoiding movements that exacerbate the condition can be an effective way to manage symptoms and prevent further injury.
  • Orthotic Devices: Braces, splints, shoe inserts, and other assistive devices can provide support, alleviate pain, and improve functional ability by stabilizing and protecting affected joints or limbs.
  • Occupational Therapy: This form of therapy helps patients adapt to their condition and maintain independence by teaching them how to perform daily activities in a way that minimizes pain and stress on affected areas.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Weight management, nutritional counseling, and adopting a healthy lifestyle can play a significant role in managing orthopedic conditions, particularly those affected by body weight and overall health.
  • Alternative Therapies: Methods such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, and massage therapy may be recommended as complementary treatments to alleviate symptoms.
  • Injections: Injections such as corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid can be administered directly into the affected joint or area to reduce inflammation and pain.

Orthobiologics are a range of naturally occurring substances such as platelet-rich plasma and stem cells injected into the source of the pain and dysfunction. They are primarily use for the regenerative and healing properties. Orthobiologics are used in orthopedics and sports medicine to enhance the healing of musculoskeletal injuries, such as broken bones, injured muscles, and torn ligaments and tendons. The primary aim of orthobiologics is to improve the healing process, and reduce recovery time, allowing patients to return to their normal activities more quickly. They are also used to treat sports injuries, and aid in the recovery of chronic conditions.

Uses include:

  • to treat tendinitis and tendon tears common in athletes and active individuals to reduce inflammation and promote repair of damaged tendon tissues.
  • to enhance bone healing and strength in fractures, and in spinal fusion surgery to augment bone grafts.
  • to speed healing and improve the quality of repaired tissues during surgery such as ACL reconstruction or rotator cuff repair.
  • to repair and regenerate damaged cartilage especially in young athletes with cartilage injuries.
  • to provide an alternative to traditional pain management techniques for longer-term relief and recovery.
  • to alleviate pain and restore joint function in patients with osteoarthritis.

Schedule a consultation

At Silicon Valley Orthopedics, we treat athletes and non-athletes alike with cutting edge techniques and procedures as well as nonsurgical options that will help healing when time and patience are in order. Contact us to schedule a consultation at one of our offices in Fremont, Los Gatos or Menlo Park. We strive to provide all of our patients with world-class compassionate and personalized orthopedic care aimed at your specific needs.