Osteoarthritis

5 steps to find the right doctor for you.

A number of medical specialists can diagnose and treat OA.  They include:

  • Your primary care physician (PCP), who sees you first when you have a health problem and coordinates the care you receive from other health professionals
  • A rheumatologist, who specializes in the diagnosis and nonsurgical treatment of OA and other forms of arthritis
  • An orthopedic surgeon (orthopedist), who specializes in surgical and other treatment of joint and bone diseases
    • OA-related surgery is typically recommended only when nonsurgical treatment is not effective
  • A pain management specialist, who could be a neurologist, orthopedic surgeon, or anesthesiologist
  • A physiatrist, who specializes in physical and rehabilitative medicine and can help you avoid or overcome OA-related physical limitations

In addition to providing diagnostic and treatment recommendations, specialists may be consulted if your OA:

  • Is getting worse even with treatment
  • Is or becomes very severe or disabling
  • Affects other body areas in addition to your joints
  • Is one of two or more serious medical conditions you have
  • Requires treatment that specialists typically provide