Ask Dr. Hansen: How Do You Approach Arthritis Pain Treatment?
Dr. Dane Hansen explains that selecting a treatment plan for arthritis pain is a collaborative process.
More than 50 million American adults have been diagnosed with arthritis. We don’t think of arthritis as a deadly disease, and many people accept arthritis pain as a part of life. But leaving arthritis untreated can have more serious consequences than we realize. Arthritis specialist and surgeon Dr. Dane Hansen discusses his approach to managing his patients’ arthritis pain.
The health impact of arthritis pain
“Arthritis may not be fatal, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t serious,” Dr. Hansen explains. “This disease is the leading national cause of disability. Arthritis pain can limit activity and lead to weight gain and other health concerns. It can prevent you from maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When I sit down with my patients, my focus is on their symptoms and their lifestyle priorities. I want to know how severe their symptoms are, and how much that arthritis pain is limiting them from living the life they want to live. As part of that process, I help them understand the treatment options available.”
Patient priorities shape the treatment plan
“Everyone has an idea about the activity level they want,” says Dr. Hansen. “Patients also have individual thresholds about the kinds of medical treatment they are willing to consider. Some people have concerns about surgeries, and rightly so. Often, these patients are managed with injections and other conservative treatments. We have a variety of noninvasive treatment options to keep people functioning at a level that they consider acceptable.”
However, conservative treatments may not deliver the results that highly active patients want. “I can have two patients with arthritis conditions that look very similar on an X-ray,” offers Dr. Hansen. “One might be delighted that injections enable him to play with his grandchildren. The other might find that injections aren’t enough. She wants to enjoy the 50-mile bike rides she loves, so we might consider surgical options that will keep her on her bike. Same diagnosis—but two very different treatment plans.”
The best approach to arthritis pain treatment is collaborative
“I make treatment decisions in partnership with my patients,” says Dr. Hansen. “Everyone’s goals are different. Treating arthritis pain is a person-by-person process that starts with education about medically appropriate solutions. Then, I help my patients choose the treatment that’s the best fit for their own values.
“It’s easy to skip over this education and deliberation,” Dr. Hansen acknowledges. “I pride myself on making sure people feel comfortable with what I’m telling them. I want my patients to fully understand their options and feel comfortable with their treatment plan. These conversations may take extra time and effort, but the reward is worth it.”
Summit’s approach to osteoarthritis
At Summit, we believe in a multidisciplinary approach to manage pain. Evidence supports the effectiveness of multiple treatments designed to restore mobility, reduce pain, and protect your lifestyle. Medication may ease pain so that a patient can work with a physical therapist on strengthening and conditioning. Additionally, occasional steroid shots may help to control inflammation.
Medical research is constantly improving care outcomes and exploring even better treatments. We will continue to keep you informed about the most recent osteoarthritic treatment developments to help you find the most effective treatments to minimize pain and maximize your quality of life.
When to seek treatment for your arthritis
Arthritis doesn’t have to spell the end of an active life. If you are experiencing worrisome symptoms or persistent pain, the renowned arthritis specialists at Summit Orthopedics can help. We work with you to confirm a diagnosis and develop an appropriate conservative treatment plan. If nonsurgical treatments fail to support your lifestyle goals, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons will consult with you and discuss appropriate surgical options. Summit is home to innovative joint replacement options. Our Vadnais Heights Surgery Center is one of only two surgery centers nationally to receive The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement.
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, MN, Plymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.
More resources for you
- Watch the video: Introducing Dr. Dane Hansen.
- Learn about how exercise can affect arthritis.
- Meet Hip And Knee Arthritis Surgeon Dr. Dane Hansen
- Learn more about how arthritis can affect our lives.
- Considerations For Choosing An Osteoarthritic Pain Medication
- Dr. Hansen Compares Hip Resurfacing and Total Hip Replacements
“Arthritis patients have high expectations for their activity level. With advanced training in minimally invasive surgical techniques and quick-recovery joint replacement, I strive to help my patients return to their fully active lifestyle as quickly as possible.”
Summit’s arthritis specialists offer a broad range of nonsurgical treatments to manage arthritis pain.
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