Non-Operative Orthopedics

Joint care and repair

Many orthopedic conditions do not require surgery. When you have a joint problem, a strain, sprain, or overuse injury, nonsurgical treatment options may provide relief.

Your musculoskeletal system has a lot going on. Your bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves all need to work together to keep you moving comfortably. If this system becomes damaged, conservative treatments could help your body heal.

Conservative approaches can include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Injections
  • Medication
  • Musculoskeletal (MSK) ultrasound
  • Tendon scraping
  • Tenotomy
  • Orthotics and bracing
  • Viscosupplement injections

Recent medical advances mean there are more options for conservative treatment than ever before. New approaches include biologics, stem cell therapy, platelet rich plasma injections and more. These treatments are helping advance the field of orthopedic care, with new ways to eliminate pain and discomfort.

MSK Ultrasound

Ultrasound is highly effective for imaging joints, muscles, nerves, and ligaments. Known as a musculoskeletal (MSK) ultrasound, this technology can assist in diagnosing nerve damage, tendonitis, and ligament injuries around your joints.

One notable advantage of MSK ultrasound is that it provides a "dynamic" or movement-related image. Sometimes, pain and other symptoms can only be reproduced when a person is moving. Ultrasound allows for real-time imaging, so we can see what’s going on while you’re moving a painful joint.

We always strive to use the more appropriate imaging tool for your condition. MSK ultrasound does have several advantages:

  • No radiation
  • Clear picture of soft tissues
  • Dynamic imaging to see joints in motion
  • Not affected by metal in your body
  • You’re not confined inside a machine

Removing Scar Tissue

We offer a minimally invasive way to remove pain-generating scar tissue from tendons in your shoulder, elbow, knee, ankle, and foot. In medical terms, we call it "percutaneous tenotomy" or "needle tenotomy with debridement."

The procedure uses ultrasound technology as both an imaging tool and an energy source. First, the ultrasound is used to identify scar tissue and visualize the treatment area. Then, it becomes an energy source to break down scar tissue on the tendon.

These treatments are performed with a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. We insert a needle, through the skin, into the scar tissue. Then the affected area is treated with waves of ultrasonic energy to break up and emulsify scar tissue. A saline-flushing system is used for "debridement," meaning the unhealthy tissue is removed from the body.

Percutaneous tenotomy can be used to treat any number of musculoskeletal conditions, including rotator cuff injuries, tennis elbow, Achilles tendon injuries, and plantar fasciitis. Depending on your condition, you may be able to return to normal activities approximately one month after treatment.

Ultrasound Guided Injections

When you’re getting an injection, accuracy is key. MSK ultrasound provides real-time guidance, so your clinician can target the treatment area with precision. Guided-injections can be used to deliver medication, viscosupplements (to improve lubrication), as well as orthobiologics like stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma injections.

A Quarterback for Your Care

From professionals to student athletes and anyone who wants to be more active, Aurora BayCare offers expert care. If you have a recent injury or are concerned about ongoing pain, our orthopedic specialists can evaluate your condition and help you decide on the appropriate treatment option.

Think of a non-operative orthopedic doctor like a quarterback for your care. They’re the leader of your medical team, responsible for reading the signals and directing your treatment.

Together, our comprehensive care team includes regenerative medicine, pain and rehab specialists and a large therapy department focused on preventing and rehabilitating musculoskeletal conditions. If conservative treatments are not the right option for your care, we can refer you to Aurora BayCare’s highly specialized team of orthopedic surgeons and then help you manage your rehab and recovery process.

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