Osteoarthritis Treatment Options


For patients seeking a rheumatologist for osteoarthritis treatment, Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston provides innovative and comprehensive diagnosis, treatment and management of osteoarthritis and other rheumatic diseases. From its origins as a teaching hospital for arthritis-related diseases, BWH has become a center for pioneering research and innovative therapeutics in osteoarthritis treatment.

With more than 27 million people in the U.S. affected by osteoarthritis, BWH recently launched a multidisciplinary effort dedicated to osteoarthritis treatment that promotes collaboration between clinicians and researchers from multiple disciplines to improve the diagnosis and treatment of osteoarthritis, to advance research on understanding joint degeneration, and to find new pathways to joint preservation.

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a chronic joint disease that destroys cartilage and bones in the neck, lower back, knees, hips, shoulders and/or fingers. Symptoms include pain, stiffness and limited movement and the joints. While there is no known cause for osteoarthritis, risk factors include heredity, obesity, age, gender, muscle weakness, poor nutrition, and injury.

Osteoarthritis treatment at BWH

Physicians in the Division of Rheumatology, Inflammation, and Immunity offer a broad spectrum of osteoarthritis treatment options. Nonsurgical options include:

  • Anti-inflammatory and pain medication, such as acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and other pain medications.
  • Injections of cortisone and viscosupplements, gel-like substances that act like natural joint fluids).
  • Topical analgesics.
  • Guidance on weight loss and exercise.
  • Bracing and orthotics.
  • Self-management strategies.
  • Guidance on the use of nutritional supplements.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Occupational therapy.

Surgical osteoarthritis treatment options include:

  • Arthroplasty, a procedure to replace or restore a joint to reduce pain, increase mobility, and improve the patient's quality of life.
  • Arthroscopy, a minimally invasive procedure to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the joints. Surgeons may remove loose cartilage or repair meniscus to improve joint function.
  • Cartilage repair and regeneration to replace damaged cartilage.
  • Osteotomy, a procedure that involves removing part of the bone to realign the joint as a temporary treatment for osteoarthritis.

In addition to osteoarthritis treatment, physicians in the Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy can provide treatment of osteoporosis, ankylosing spondylitis, and other rheumatic diseases.

Find a BWH doctor for osteoarthritis treatment

To make an appointment for consultation about osteoarthritis treatment, please call our new patient coordinators at 1-800-294-9999 or fill out an online appointment request form. You may also search for rheumatologists and other physicians using the Find a Doctor feature on the BWH website.

Learn more about the medical specialties and services provided at Brigham and Women's Hospital. In addition to rheumatology, BWH is home to experts in women's health, weight loss surgery, cardiology and more. Use our physician directory to search for a Boston hand specialist, an expert who treats women and depression, or a cardiac surgeon at any of our available locations.

Learn more about Osteoarthritis Treatment and other Arthritis Treatment options at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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