Osteoarthritis

Worn-down cushion between your bones

Our approach to osteoarthritis care

You’re one of a kind. We believe your care should be, too. That's why we put you, the person — not just your osteoarthritis — at the center of our approach. You can expect personalized care from diagnosis to treatment to recovery.

With deep knowledge and a proven track record, we’re here to make your experience as simple, manageable and successful as possible.

Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis

Over time, the cartilage between your bones wears down. Worn-away cartilage allows bones to rub against each other, causing damage and pain.

Symptoms can vary from minor to severe — it depends on the person. It’s important to pay close attention to your body. If something feels off, get help.

Common signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • joint pain
  • joint stiffness
  • loss of range of motion
  • swelling

If you consistently feel any of these symptoms, reach out to your doctor.

Our steps to a diagnosis

We understand that osteoarthritis can surface in vague ways. How do you know if what you're feeling isn’t something else? That’s where our experts come in. They’ll guide you step-by-step to a proper diagnosis. Here's what to expect:

  • Physical exam: Typically, you’ll start with a conversation and physical exam with your primary care doctor. They’ll look for visible swelling or trouble bending the affected joint. They’ll also ask if or when you feel pain in the joint.
  • Additional testing: Your doctor might order an X-ray or bloodwork to rule out other conditions.

Our treatment options

Our approach depends on your unique situation. Although osteoarthritis isn’t curable, we’ll create a personalized plan to manage pain, slow cartilage breakdown and improve your everyday life.

  • Healthy habits: We know lifestyle changes are easier said than done. That’s why we’re here to guide and encourage you through diet, exercise and other healthy habits that can positively impact your arthritis.
  • Medication: Arthritis can feel crippling. Along with proactive care, we use medication to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Ice and heat: A steady rotation of ice and heat can help relieve joint soreness.
  • Physical therapy: many times physical therapy may help improve mobility, ease stiffness, increase range of motion, and strengthen the muscles supporting the joints
  • Joint surgery: If other treatments are unsuccessful, ask your doctor whether joint surgery could be a safe, long-term solution.
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Connected care

Your doctors are connected to a large network of WellSpan specialists so you can get the care you need, even if your condition becomes complex.

Award-winning hospitals

From patient satisfaction to medical expertise, like high performance in knee replacement, our eight hospitals across South Central Pennsylvania have you covered.

We’re where you are

With more than 100 primary care and orthopedic offices across the region, you’re never far from personalized care.

Walk-in urgent ortho

Orthopedic issues don’t have business hours. That’s why we have walk-in offices specialized for urgent orthopedics issues, so you get the right care right away.

For everyone

You're one of a kind. We believe your care should be, too. That's why we go beyond your condition by understanding the full you — your needs, your story, your life — for an experience that fits you and only you.