Arthritis, a condition that causes joint swelling, can be a painful and frustrating condition – especially for people who love to be active. People from all over western Pennsylvania, including former professional athletes, turn to the arthritis experts at Allegheny Health Network (AHN). Our orthopaedic experts deliver specialized care that helps thousands of people every year move through life without pain.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a problem that starts with swelling in your joints. The swelling makes the joint stiff and difficult to move. As arthritis progresses, these symptoms worsen. Over time, the material that cushions your joints (cartilage) may wear away, leading to intense pain with any movement.
Arthritis can affect any joint, including your:
Arthritis care at Allegheny Health Network: Why choose us?
At AHN, you have access to complete arthritis care, including an accurate diagnosis and a wide range of treatments. Our expertise has helped people with arthritis in multiple joints who have been in pain for years get back to living a full, active life.
Arthritis pain can strike when you least expect it, which is why we make it easy to access the care you need. Our physical therapists have direct access certification, meaning we can treat you without a physician referral. You may continue working with our therapists for up to 30 days. Find out more about orthopaedic physical therapy.
Treatments for arthritis
We make every effort to use nonsurgical treatments to help you feel better. For stubborn pain, surgery may be necessary. We explain all of your options, and together, we make a plan to help you get back into the swing of things.
Nonsurgical arthritis treatments
In the early stages of arthritis, nonsurgical treatments ease the pain and may slow the progression of the condition.
Your care may include:
- Medication: We may recommend medications to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
- Injections: Injecting medications directly into the affected joint may relieve the pain for months at a time. Find out more about injections.
- Physical therapy: Our certified physical therapists guide you through exercises to loosen stiff joints. Learn more about orthopaedic physical therapy.
Surgical care for arthritis
If nonsurgical treatments are not successful, you may need a procedure to repair or replace the joint:
- Joint repair surgery: We fix the damaged portion of the joint, which may include removing damaged cartilage or swollen tissue. Read more about joint repair.
- Joint replacement surgery: We remove the damaged joint and replace it with a device made of metal and plastic. Learn more about joint replacement surgery.