Montefiore New Rochelle Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Resources: Frequently Asked Questions (General)

Our Joint Solutions team works with one goal in mind: To return you to a pain free, active life. Our specialists will work closely with you to determine which of the many options we offer will work best for your needs.

We also want you to come into this type of discussion well-armed with information. To help, below are a few frequently asked questions:

What can I expect during my initial visit?

When you come for your first appointment, please bring a full list of your current medications, a list of any allergies you may have along with previous testing and imaging studies that have been done.

During your initial consult, your doctor will review your medical history and conduct a physical exam. Our specialists will closely inspect your affected joint, checking for tenderness, swelling or redness. We will also examine the joint's range of motion. Your doctor may additionally recommend imaging and lab tests to determine whether or not your symptoms are due to osteoarthritis or some other condition.

Lab tests include:

  • Blood tests. These may help to rule out other causes of joint pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Joint fluid analysis. Examining and testing the fluid from your joint can determine whether or not your pain is derived from inflammation or infection.

Imaging tests are used to confirm a diagnosis, these include:

  • X-rays.  An X-ray (radiography) is a simple procedure that allows doctors to take pictures of the inside of your body to see tissue, organs and bones and learn whether something is wrong internally.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to produce detailed pictures of bone and soft tissues, including cartilage. This can be helpful in further pinpointing the precise source of your pain.

I want to be a partner in my care. How can Joint Solutions help?

Education and counseling are an important part the Joint Solutions difference. We know that the key to better outcomes and faster recovery lies in a commitment to superior education for you and your family. Knowing what to expect each step of the way goes a long way to reducing stress and anxiety and preparing you for as smooth a recovery as possible.

We encourage all patients and their caretakers to attend our joint replacement educational classes prior to your operation. This will help you set expectations as to what to expect from the process, through discharge and your return home.  In addition, our team offers all of our patients and their families:

  • Engaging outreach seminars on subjects such as arthritis and the latest medications, as well as diet and exercise tips.
  • Presentations to explain in-depth your specific procedure.
  • Extremely detailed and interactive guidebooks that are geared to specific procedures and will help you navigate every stage of the process.

What exactly is Arthritis?

Arthritis means "joint inflammation" and is essentially a general term that refers to more
than 100 different diseases. Rheumatic diseases include any diseases that cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints or other supportive body structures, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases affect people of all ages.

Are there different types of Arthritis?

The two most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), both of which are more prevalent in women than in men. Of the 120 different kinds of arthritis, OA— called "wear and tear" arthritis, OA occurs when the weight-bearing joints simply begin to wear themselves out—affects the most people.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease (meaning that the body is attacking itself) characterized by inflamed, swollen and painful knuckles and joints. RA can affect the whole body, resulting in fever, weight loss and fatigue.

What are my non-surgical options for dealing with orthopaedic conditions?

Our experts have vast experience in the complete range of treatment strategies. At first, before opting for surgery, we are very likely to suggest more conservative options:

  • Maintaining a balanced routine of rest (to avoid overuse) and exercise, such as stretching and strengthening.  
  • Diet, Nutrition and Weight Control: Every extra pound compounds the stress on your hips and knees. One of the most effective and tangible ways to slow the progression of OA is to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Heat Therapy: Applying heat directly to the painful joint can sometimes reduce pain and stiffness.
  • Medications: There are many medications to ease the pain and inflammation of OA. The most commonly used are over-the-counter analgesics, such as acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications—aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen.
  • Cortisone injections. When mixed with an anesthetic and given directly into the joint, cortisone injections can alleviate pain and restore function, sometimes for months at a time.
  • Hyaluronate injections. This medication is used to treat patients with OA of the knee. It is believed to act as a lubricant and shock absorber in the joint, helping the knee to move smoothly and less painfully.

What are the risks of surgery?

There are always risks to any type of surgical procedure. Your surgeon will go over them all with you very carefully beforehand.

Have questions? Please feel free to contact us at 914-365-3981. We look forward to hearing from you.