Surgical Options for Arthritis Explained

Surgical Options for Arthritis Explained

Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints throughout your body. It can be mild or cause you so much discomfort that your everyday life is affected. With over 100 different types of arthritis, it can be hard to find a treatment that works. In fact, sometimes, surgery is the best option to get you the relief you’ve been searching for.

At University of Toledo Physicians, our team helps diagnose your arthritis and gets you the specialized treatment you need. Dr. Nabil Ebraheim is our orthopedic surgeon, who offers personalized care plans, including surgery, when you’re suffering from severe arthritis pain.

The facts on arthritis

Arthritis is a broad term for a group of diseases that affect the joints in your body, each type in slightly different ways. Most forms of arthritis cause pain and damage within the joints, and those can be debilitating.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of a disease that affects the cartilage, or protective cushion, within the joint space. The cartilage is a spongy layer of tissue that allows the joint to move smoothly and absorbs shock. This form of arthritis results in wear-and-tear of the cartilage and surrounding tissue, leading eventually to the bones rubbing together.

Rheumatoid arthritis is another common form of the condition; however it affects the joints differently than osteoarthritis. Although they both lead to damage within your joint, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system mistakenly interprets the inside of your joint as a threat and attacks the tissues. This causes widespread inflammation throughout your joint, leading to pain and swelling.

There are many other forms of arthritis, but they all fall into certain categories, including inflammatory, degenerative, and infectious. No matter which type of arthritis is causing you pain, it’s important that you seek treatment early, to prevent problems down the road.

When is surgery necessary?

If you catch arthritis early, you may be able to tame it with conservative measures. Dr. Ebraheim may recommend therapies such as rest, heat or ice, and physical therapy to ease your discomfort. In some cases, this may be enough to make the condition tolerable.

However, if your symptoms are affecting your daily activities, and you have trouble walking or climbing stairs, it may be time for a more aggressive form of treatment. This is also true if your arthritis affects smaller joints, and you aren’t able to dress yourself or perform the tasks you need to throughout the day.

Ultimately, Dr. Ebraheim discusses your treatment options with you to decide the best route for your specific condition. If other conservative measures have been unsuccessful in managing your pain, he recommends surgery to give you the relief you’ve been hoping for.

Surgical options for arthritis

When you’ve tried other treatment options with minimal or no relief, it may be time to consider surgery as a viable option. There are actually several different forms of surgery available for the many varieties of arthritis, some of which include:

Joint replacement

In this procedure, Dr. Ebraheim removes the damaged areas in your joint, and replaces them with a prosthetic. The prosthetic is made of materials like ceramic or metal and acts just like your natural joint would before arthritis.


If you have extreme damage in your joints due to either inflammatory arthritis or osteoarthritis, arthrodesis may be for you. This type of surgery essentially fuses your joint bones together, limiting flexibility and movement, which, in turn, decreases pain. It’s often performed in your wrists, ankles, and spine


Dr. Ebraheim uses arthroscopic surgery to see inside your joint using minimally invasive techniques. He’s able to fix minor damage within your joint due to arthritis with this procedure, including damage to your cartilage or ligaments. The procedure uses several tiny incisions and a small camera to allow Dr. Ebraheim to see and fix the damage.


This procedure is performed when you suffer from inflammatory arthritis. The synovium that protects your joints becomes inflamed, which can hurt the surrounding cartilage and tissues. With a synovectomy, Dr. Ebraheim removes the damaged synovium, allowing for less pain and swelling in your joint.


When you have damage to your bone from arthritis, an osteotomy can help. In this procedure, Dr. Ebraheim gets rid of the damaged area of bone, or adds bone into the damaged area. This helps alleviate pain and increases mobility.

If you’re tired of suffering from arthritis, call our office at 419-383-3761, or book a consultation online today. There’s also more information about surgical procedures Dr. Ebraheim provides on our YouTube channel.

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