Arthritis Treatments

Joint protection

Canes, crutches, walkers, or splints may help relieve the stress and strain on arthritic joints. Learning methods of performing daily activities that are the less stressful to painful joints also may be helpful. Certain exercises and physical therapy (such as heat treatments) may be used to decrease stiffness and to strengthen the weakened muscles around the joint. As carrying excess weight puts extra stress on the joints, many doctors often recommend some kind of weight loss plan.


In general, an orthopedist will perform surgery for arthritis when other methods of nonsurgical treatment have failed to give relief. The physician and patient will choose the type of surgery by taking into account the type of arthritis, its severity, and the patient's physical condition.

Surgical procedures include:

  • Removal of the diseased or damaged joint lining
  • Realignment of the joints
  • Total joint replacement
  • Fusion of the bone ends of a joint to prevent joint motion and relieve joint pain