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Why choose UCLA Health for orthopaedic care?
A general orthopaedist is a key member of your treatment team if you experience conditions or injuries affecting your bones, joints, muscles, tendons or ligaments. They diagnose orthopaedic conditions and work with subspecialists to manage your treatment plan. At UCLA Health, our general orthopaedics team provides comprehensive assessments to address your needs. When you choose our team, you are choosing one of the top five orthopaedic programs in the nation, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.
Highlights of our program include:
Nonsurgical orthopaedic treatment: If you have an orthopaedic condition, you may assume you will need surgery. But most orthopaedic conditions don’t require surgical treatment. It’s important to find a specialist who can offer a targeted, effective plan that accounts for all possible treatment options. Our orthopaedists make recommendations based on your needs, goals, preferences and priorities.
Comprehensive assessments: Great care starts with a comprehensive medical history, physical exam and basic imaging such as X-rays. We provide in-depth assessments to find the root cause of your concerns. With these results, we can find the best treatment option for you and determine when to refer you for specialized care.
Access to multiple subspecialists: As an academic medical center, we can easily collaborate with multiple subspecialists, as needed. You have access to additional experts, including those in physical therapy, orthopaedic surgery or sports medicine.
Conditions orthopaedic specialists treat
Orthopaedic specialists are experts in the musculoskeletal system. This includes bones and joints and soft tissues such as muscles, ligaments, tendons and cartilage. We treat a wide range of conditions, often seeing patients for knee, hip, shoulder, back or neck pain. In many cases, nonsurgical treatment can minimize or resolve pain and help you move better.
Our experts can help find the root cause of pain for chronic conditions and acute injuries, including:
Many orthopaedic conditions develop over time and are long-lasting (chronic). These may include:
Arthritis: Chronic joint inflammation (osteoarthritis), often caused by a breakdown of the cartilage that cushions the joints
Bursitis: Inflammation in the small, fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that provide cushioning around the bones
Carpal tunnel syndrome: Compression of the median nerve, which runs through the wrist, causing numbness and tingling in the hands
Osteoporosis: A bone disease in which the body doesn’t create enough new bone, leading to bone damage, brittleness and weakening
Plantar fasciitis: Inflammation in the plantar fascia, the tissue at the bottom of the foot that connects the heel and toes
Tendonitis: Inflammation in the tendons, the tissues that connect muscles to bones
Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis): Inflammation in the tendon that connects the forearm to the outer elbow
We also treat acute conditions, or ones that occur suddenly. Many acute conditions are injuries such as:
Achilles tendon tears: A partial or complete tear in the band of tissue right above the heel (Achilles tendon), often caused by forceful pivoting, jumping or running
Ankle sprains: A stretch or tear in the ankle ligaments, the strong bands of tissue that attach bones to each other
Bone fractures: A partial or complete break in a bone, often caused by overuse injuries or trauma
Dislocations: An injury in which the ends of bones are forced out of their usual position in a joint
Hamstring injuries: A strain or tear in the muscles running along the back of the thigh
Hip labral tears: A tear in the cartilage that cushions the ball-and-socket joint of the hip, often caused by an overuse injury or trauma
Medial collateral ligament (MCL) tears: A tear in the ligament on the inside of the knee, often caused by a sudden twisting motion
Meniscus tears: A tear in the knee cartilage between the thighbone and shinbone, often caused by a sudden and forceful twisting motion
Rotator cuff tears: A tear in the group of muscles and tendons around the shoulder joint (rotator cuff), often caused by repetitive overhead shoulder movements
Treatments we offer
Orthopaedic specialists provide a range of nonsurgical treatments for chronic and acute conditions, including:
Bracing, casting and orthotics: Many orthopaedic injuries require immobilization through a brace, cast or sling. We may prescribe these treatments to help a fracture or strain heal more efficiently. Custom ankle braces or shoe inserts (orthotics) may also help support proper alignment, correct foot deformities or improve foot and ankle function.
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy: This noninvasive treatment delivers small shock waves to injured tissues. An orthopaedic specialist places a special gel and small probe on the injured area. An electrical charge sends an energy wave through the probe to initiate healing in the injured tissues. The treatment may decrease pain in people with conditions such as tendonitis, plantar fasciitis or tennis elbow.
Joint injections: Corticosteroid or hyaluronic acid injections can relieve inflammation and decrease joint pain in patients with osteoarthritis. An orthopaedic specialist injects a high dose of medication into a targeted area. Patients usually start experiencing pain relief within a few days.
Medications: Orthopaedic specialists offer medications to relieve inflammation or decrease pain. We may recommend over-the-counter options or prescribe medications such as steroids.
We also work closely with other specialists, such as physical therapists, to help you decrease pain, prevent injury and increase strength and mobility. When needed, we refer you to our orthopaedic surgery team for surgical treatments.
Our orthopaedic specialists offer comprehensive assessments to find the root cause of your bone, joint or muscle issue. You receive a personalized treatment plan based on your needs and goals. We provide nonsurgical treatments and refer you to subspecialists as necessary.