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Alternatives to Surgery for Hand Arthritis [Video]

Ask the Expert: Hand Video Series

About the video: Are there treatment options besides surgery for hand or wrist arthritis?

Listen to Summit Orthopedics’ experts discuss a few options for hand arthritis treatment that don’t involve surgery. Featuring hand surgeons, Michael Forseth, MD and Robert Anderson, MD.

Meet Dr. Forseth

Dr. Forseth’s approach: “Volunteering overseas, in places like Haiti, Columbia, and Honduras, continues to be a positive influence on my practice. My experiences there have broadened my perspective about what I do here — personally and professionally.”

Dr. Forseth’s education: Dr. Forseth studied at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota to earn his undergraduate degree, and he went on to complete his medical schooling at the University of South Dakota School of Medicine in Vermillion, South Dakota. After his residency at Loyola University Affiliated Hospitals in Maywood, Illinois, he participated in the Hand Surgery fellowship program at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Meet Dr. Anderson

Dr. Anderson’s approach: “My own injuries and need for surgeries have helped me understand the patient experience. I’m a better listener and care provider as a result. I grew up and attended college in the area, so I know and understand the people of the Twin Cities.”

Dr. Anderson’s education: Dr. Anderson studied at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN to obtain his undergraduate degree, and he went on to complete his medical degree at the University of Minnesota. He attended Indiana University Medical School in Indianapolis, IN for his residency in Orthopedics, and he completed advanced training as part of the Hand Surgery fellowship at the Indiana Hand Center.

Summit Orthopedics provides personalized hand and wrist expertise

The function of our hands integrates through our wrists and arms to our shoulders; a problem anywhere along our arm may have a significant impact on hand function and quality of life. If you experience an injury or uncomfortable symptoms, our fellowship-trained hand and wrist surgeons are here to help. Summit physicians receive the highest levels of training and exclusively provide individualized care for conditions of the hand, wrist, and elbow.

Start your journey to better function and less pain. Find your hand expert, request an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a consultation.

Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MNVadnais Heights, MN, Plymouth, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.

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Video Transcription

Patients ask me about arthritis and whether or not they’ll necessarily need surgery. There’s a lot of things that we can do before surgery to help with arthritis. We can use anti-inflammatories, topical creams, splints and braces, therapy, and cortisone injections, before we come to surgery. Surgery is actually the last in line for treatments for arthritis, it is when we failed to give you pain relief by any other extraordinary means that we’ve used. And so when people are concerned that they’re going to come see a surgeon that automatically means they’re going to have surgery, that’s not traditionally the case. Traditionally, when you come see a surgeon we’re trying to run the gamut of alternative treatments beyond surgical treatment to get you where you need to be. And for most arthritis there’s two parameters that we’re looking for to measure success, one is function and one is pain relief. And if we can give you better function and we can improve the pain in a non-surgical matter, that’s a win. Surgery is that last resort, when all other methods have failed and you’re still looking for improved function and pain relief.