Arthritis

More than 54 million Americans have arthritis, and about half of those experience physical limitations because of their chronic condition. Since 1968, Wisconsin River Orthopaedics has relieved pain and restored lives with a comprehensive approach to orthopaedic care. The team includes experts in arthritis who provide non-surgical and surgical treatment options to alleviate pain and improve your quality of life.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a medical term that describes joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Arthritis can affect any joint in your body and worsens over time. For many, arthritis causes severe pain and limits mobility and quality of life.

Getting help from the orthopaedic team at Wisconsin River Orthopaedics during the early stages of arthritis may prevent or delay severe pain and disability.

What are the types of arthritis?

There are more than 100 conditions that cause arthritis. The most common include:

Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. As you get older, it develops from the wearing away of the cartilage that separates the bones in the joint.

Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. People with rheumatoid arthritis develop joint pain and inflammation because their immune system attacks and destroys the lining of their joint capsule.

Psoriatic arthritis
Similar to rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune condition that occurs when the immune system attacks the connective tissue in the joint.

Juvenile arthritis
Juvenile arthritis refers to joint pain and inflammation that affects children and young people. Juvenile arthritis may cause permanent joint damage, making it hard for children to engage in normal activities.

What happens during an arthritis evaluation?

The team at Wisconsin River Orthopaedics takes a patient-centered approach to care. You can expect a thorough evaluation when you come in with concerns about arthritis. Your provider will review your symptoms, when they started, and how they’ve changed over time. They also perform a physical exam, paying close attention to the joints causing your pain.

To determine the type of arthritis and the severity of the joint damage, the team at Wisconsin River Orthopaedics runs diagnostic tests such as blood work and imaging tests.

How is arthritis treated?

Treatment for your arthritis is individualized and depends on the cause of your joint pain, the severity of your symptoms, and your physical limitations.

Initially, the team may take a conservative approach to care, recommending:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Disease-specific medications
  • Physical therapy or occupational therapy
  • Bracing or splinting
  • Weight loss
  • Activity modification
  • Joint injections

If you have severe joint damage from your arthritis and conservative measures fail to improve your quality of life, the team may recommend surgery at their on-site state-of-the-art, fully accredited surgery center. Surgical options for arthritis include joint replacement, joint repair, and joint fusion.

Arthroscopy

The arthroscope is one of the greatest technological achievements of the 20th century. It has revolutionized orthopedic surgery and dramatically improved outcomes for a wide variety of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. Minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery, or “scope” surgery, gives us greater surgical precision and allows us to operate through tiny incisions. For patients with shoulder pain, tennis elbow, knee pain, ankle pain, heel pain or foot pain, it means less scarring, less discomfort and far less recovery time.

To learn more about our surgery center or to schedule your appointment, please don’t hesitate to call us at (715) 204-7218 with your questions. Our surgery patients come to us from Wisconsin Rapids and the surrounding areas.

No matter the cause or severity, fractures require immediate medical care. Wisconsin River Orthopaedics in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, specializes in diagnosing and treating all types of fractures. The team includes orthopaedic physicians who specialize in sports medicine and orthopaedic surgery.

What are fractures?

Fractures are breaks in the bone. Fractures most often occur after an accident such as a car crash, bad fall, or hard tackle.

Though fractures may affect anyone at any time, athletes are especially vulnerable to breaking bones because of the extra stress they place on their body playing their sport.

You may also be at risk of fractures if you have low bone density or osteoporosis. These conditions weaken the bones, making them more susceptible to breaks when doing everyday things.

What are the types of fractures?

The severity of your fracture depends on the amount of force placed on the bone. The team at Wisconsin River Orthopaedics classifies fractures into types based on the break, including:

Stable fracture - With a stable fracture, your broken bones are in near-perfect alignment.

Open fracture - An open fracture means your bone pierces through your skin.

Transverse fracture - With a transverse fracture, the break in your bone runs horizontally along the bone.

Oblique fracture - An oblique fracture is a bone with an angled break.

Comminuted fracture - With a comminuted fracture, your bone is shattered into three or more pieces.

How are fractures evaluated?

When you come in for a fracture evaluation at Wisconsin River Orthopaedics, you can expect a patient-centered exam. Your provider first reviews how you broke your bone. Then, they evaluate your fracture and perform imaging tests to determine the fracture type.

Wisconsin River Orthopaedics has an on-site open MRI so we can get clear images of your fracture to determine the best treatment.

How are fractures treated?

Treatment for fractures depends on the type of fracture you have. In most cases, the team places a cast to immobilize your bones so they can heal back together. If your bones are slightly out of place, your orthopaedic expert at Wisconsin River Orthopaedics may first position the bones manually before placing the cast. Some fractures require traction, which involves gently pulling on the bone to improve alignment.

For more serious fractures, such as an open or comminuted fracture, the team may perform surgery. Types of surgery for fractures include external fixation and open reduction internal fixation. Your surgeon may use screws, plates, or pins to realign your bones for proper healing.

It can take several weeks or months for a fracture to heal. Your orthopaedic physician will refer you to the on-site physical therapy team to support your recovery process.

Sciatica often triggers debilitating pain. At Wisconsin River Orthopaedics, the team provides the care you need to eliminate your pain. They can resolve sciatica pain through treatments like physical therapy and surgery if needed.

What is sciatica?

Your sciatic nerve begins in your lower back and branches out, traveling through each hip and down into your legs. Sciatica develops when this nerve is compressed or irritated.

People with sciatica often develop sharp, stabbing, or burning pain. This pain typically starts in the lower back, but symptoms can also appear in your buttocks, thighs, or calves. Sciatica can make it difficult to keep up with your job or other daily activities.

What are the risk factors for sciatica?

Most cases of sciatica result from a herniated disc in your spine. Bone spurs along your vertebra can also be a factor. Doctors aren't sure why some people develop these problems, while others don't, but known risk factors for sciatica include:

  • Increased age
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Prolonged sitting also seems to make symptoms worse

If you have a desk job, you might be at a higher risk of developing sciatica. Jobs that require heavy lifting could also increase your chances of sciatica.

How is sciatica treated?

At Wisconsin River Orthopaedics, patients receive expert care. First, the team works to identify the cause of your back or leg pain. Next, we help you create a customized treatment plan.

Your Wisconsin River Orthopaedics provider helps you avoid invasive treatments when possible. Physical therapy often relieves sciatica symptoms. During each physical therapy session, your provider guides you through a series of exercises.
These exercises are designed to relieve pressure on your sciatic nerve. They also build core strength and improve your posture.

The team at Wisconsin River Orthopaedics may also recommend pain medications to relieve your symptoms, as well as massage therapy and cold and hot treatments can help relieve your pain and boost blood flow. Over time, improved blood flow can reduce your sciatica symptoms.

For extreme cases of sciatica, your provider may recommend surgery such as a laminotomy and discectomy.

At Wisconsin River Orthopaedics, we want you to get the care you need, when you need it. Our walk-in clinic allows you to get faster access to specialized orthopaedic care, without a referral. From comprehensive evaluation to specialized treatment, our team of board-certified orthopaedic experts will be by your side, every step of the way.

See us for:

  • Fractures and breaks
  • Knee and hip injuries
  • Shoulder, elbow, and hand injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Sprains and strains

For life-threatening emergencies, please call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Our walk-in provider: Crystal Gruber

Crystal Gruber, APNP, FNP-BC, is a nurse practitioner at Wisconsin River Orthopaedics. Crystal has been serving patients like you since 1997. She spent 12 years in the emergency department before completing her nurse practitioner degree. She has been a family practice nurse practitioner since 2014 and has specialized in orthopaedics since January 2016.

Walk-In Clinic Hours

  • Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Friday: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

When something goes wrong at work and you suffer an injury, workers' compensation can ease the financial burden of medical bills and being off work.

If you have a work injury, Wisconsin River Orthopaedics can help. At the practice in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, the providers and therapists provide a range of treatments to suit all musculoskeletal injuries.

What is workers’ compensation?

If you suffer an injury at work, workers’ compensation is insurance that pays your medical expenses and covers lost pay.

Wisconsin River Orthopaedics has considerable experience in assisting patients with recovery from work injuries. We communicate with everyone involved with the claim, including your employer and adjuster, to optimize your recovery and get you back to work as soon as possible.

What injuries does workers’ compensation cover?

Workers’ compensation covers any type of injury or disease that relates to your job. Musculoskeletal injuries are one of the most frequent causes of a workers’ compensation claim, particularly:

Sprains and strains
Sprained ligaments and strained tendons or muscles are some of the most common workplace injuries. These injuries are typically a result of overexertion, such as pulling, pushing, or lifting heavy objects.

Slips and falls
Slips and trips often lead to falls, which are also common workplace injuries. Wet floors, uneven flooring, or objects blocking your path are the most likely causes. In addition to sprains and strains, falls can cause fractures.

Repetitive strain injuries
Making the same movement repeatedly can cause problems like carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, and trigger finger, as well as back and neck pain.

Auto accidents
If you drive any kind of vehicle at work, you might experience a collision that results in whiplash, other back and neck injuries, and fractures.

What happens when I make a workers’ compensation claim?

When you suffer an injury at work, make sure there’s an official record of the incident. If you need emergency treatment for a serious injury, go to the hospital.

To make a workers’ compensation claim, you need to see a provider who's approved by the Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Division such as one of our team members at Wisconsin River Orthopaedics.

You will need to undergo a comprehensive physical exam and get an accurate diagnosis for your workers’ compensation claim forms. Wisconsin River Orthopaedics creates an individualized treatment plan for you and determines when you're well enough to go back to work.

Treatments for workplace injuries vary depending on factors like the type of injury, how severe it is, and your age and general health.

Wisconsin River Orthopaedics has expert occupational and physical therapy services on-site to optimize your recovery. They can also perform surgery when necessary.