Treatment programs for orthopedic patients usually include medications that control the patient’s symptoms. These medicines help doctors manage a patient’s symptoms while their body heals and without having to resorting to more intense treatments, like surgery.
Orthopedic medicines are used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, from injuries to arthritis to post-surgical care. While there is no single “best” orthopedic medicine for every condition, some medications are more commonly prescribed than others.
In this article, we will discuss the most common orthopedic medicines and their uses.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs are one of the most widely used types of medication for treating pain associated with musculoskeletal conditions. They’re available over the counterand are usually very effective at controlling a patient’s symptoms. Common NSAIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, celecoxib, and diclofenac sodium. These medications work by reducing inflammation in the
affected area, which can help reduce pain and stiffness.
Hyaluronic Acid Injections
These injections are used to treat osteoarthritis of the knee. They help to lubricate the joint and reduce pain, and are similar to what is naturally produced by the body for the joints. Examples include Durolane, Euflexxa, and Hyalgan.
Injectable corticosteroids are a type of hormone-based medication that may be taken orally but are usually delivered through injection in orthopedic patients. They are naturally produced by the body to control inflammation, but the synthetic hormone mimics the effect of natural cortisone and is highly effective when injected directly into injured or inflamed tissue. Corticosteroids are used in the treatment of arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Prednisone and methylprednisolone are examples of steroids found in an injectable.
Muscle relaxants may also be prescribed to relieve muscle spasms associated with certain musculoskeletal disorders, like spinal stenosis or herniated discs. Common muscle relaxants include cyclobenzaprine hydrochloride and carisoprodol. These medications work by relaxing muscles around joints,which can help improve mobility and decrease discomfort caused by spasms.
Bisphosphonates are a class of drugs used to treat osteoporosis and other bone diseases. They work by slowing down the breakdown of bones, which helps to prevent fractures and keep bones strong. Alendronate (Fosamax) and Risedronate (Actonel) are examples of bisphosphonates.
Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)
These drugs are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions that affect the joints. DMARDs modify how your body responds when it encounters foreign substances, so they can help slow down the progression of joint damage caused by these diseases. Common DMARDs include methotrexate, sulfasalazine, leflunomide, hydroxychloroquine sulfate, and azathioprine.
Most medications have potential side effects that should be discussed with your doctor. Orthopedic doctors typically prescribe orthopedic medications carefully, as some can be habit-forming, and usually recommend other non-pharmacologic therapies, too, for well-rounded treatment.
Top Orthopedic Surgeon in San Antonio, TX
If you have an orthopedic condition or injury and are unhappy with your current treatment plan or are interested in orthopedic medicines, our orthopedic doctors at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine can determine the right ones for you. Our doctors usually weigh the benefits and risks of each for your safety to give you the best outcomes.
To schedule an appointment with us, call our office today at (210) 692-7400 or use our online form to send an appointment request.