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Nonoperative Treatment


Prescription and Nonprescription Medications

Patients may be instructed to take anti-inflammatory medications, such as Advil, Motrin or Aleve. Anti-inflammatory medications may reduce swelling and pain. Some patients may be prescribed stronger anti-inflammatory medications, such as Celebrex.  Patients may also be instructed to take alternative pain medications, such as Tylenol.  



Bracing, splinting, and casting may be used to help support the bone and/or joint, depending on the condition.  

Braces may provide the patient stability, improved function, and pain relief.  


Physical Therapy

Patients may be referred to a physical therapist to work on strength, balance, conditioning, range of motion, and overall fitness. Dr. Gallivan will determine if it is appropriate for the patient to participate in physical therapy, depending on the patient’s condition.  


Home Exercise Program

Once patients have been treated by a physical therapist, Dr. Gallivan may recommend continuing exercises at home. A well-outlined home exercise program will be provided to the patient.  

Below are documents containing well-outlined home exercise programs for different body parts:  





Foot and Ankle 

Carpal Tunnel 


Hyaluronic Acid Injections

Hyaluronic acid injections are used to lubricate the joint to try to decrease pain and improve function. There are several types of hyaluronic acid injections used at our office, which include a series of five GenVisc injections, a series of five Supartz injections, and a single dose of a Durolane injection. Each patient’s response to the hyaluronic acid injection(s) will vary depending on the severity of their osteoarthritis.  


PRP Injection

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection is a biologic injection that involves drawing a small amount of blood and spinning it in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the patient’s blood. Once the platelet-rich plasma is separated, it is injected into the patient’s joint or site of pain. This injection may improve function, reduce pain, and/or reduce inflammation. PRP injections are not typically covered by insurance companies. 


Stem Cell Injection

Stem cells are taken from a bone marrow aspirate or an amniotic tissue allograft and are then injected into the patient's joint or injured area. These injections may decrease inflammation, reduce pain, and/or stimulate healing. Stem cell injections are not typically covered by insurance companies.  


Cortisone Injection

A cortisone injection is a corticosteroid injection that may reduce pain and inflammation at the site of the injection. 

Please call Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara to discuss what treatment option is best for you with a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. William Gallivan.  


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