Our Services / Arthritis

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Arthritis services offered in Leawood and Merriam, KS

Arthritis (long-term joint inflammation) affects more than 50 million adults in the United States. Orthopedic shoulder surgeon H. Scott Ellsworth, MD, of the Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance, offers effective treatments for arthritis at his offices in Leawood, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri. Dr. Ellsworth is also an expert in joint replacement surgery, a choice available to patients with advanced arthritis. Call the Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance today or book an appointment online to find relief from your arthritis.

Arthritis Q & A

What is arthritis?

Although it’s often discussed as a single disease, there are over 100 different kinds of arthritis. They cause long-term or recurring joint swelling, pain, and stiffness. These symptoms usually get worse gradually, and severe arthritis can twist and distort joints.

Arthritis can, depending on what kind you have, affect most or just a few of your joints, and some forms usually develop in a single joint. Gout, for example, usually affects the big toe joints, although it can show up elsewhere.

The severity of arthritis symptoms also varies. In some people, arthritis causes a dull ache that sometimes flares up. But many others experience prolonged, intense joint pain.

There’s no cure for arthritis, but Dr. Ellsworth offers treatments that relieve the symptoms and keep you mobile.

What kinds of arthritis affect the shoulders and elbows?

Arthritis conditions Dr. Ellsworth sees most often include:


Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) is the deterioration of the cartilage and bone in your joints. It’s common for osteoarthritis to start causing symptoms in your 50s after years of joint wear. But it can happen earlier if you suffer a joint injury.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmune diseases affect people whose immune system has a flaw. This flaw causes the immune system to attack healthy cells instead of killing threatening bacteria and viruses.

Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is another autoimmune disorder that affects your skin and joints, causing a thick, scaly rash (psoriasis) and joint pain.

How is arthritis treated?

For mild to moderate arthritis, conservative treatments can be highly effective. These include:

  • Rest and activity changes
  • Ice and heat
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
  • Stem cell therapy
  • Hyaluronic acid injections
  • Steroid injections

Some kinds of arthritis, like the autoimmune disorders rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis, respond to DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs). With all forms of arthritis, it’s vital to keep moving. Gentle exercise keeps your joints from getting even stiffer and weaker.

Would I need surgery for arthritis?

Many people manage their arthritis well for years with nonsurgical treatments. But if you have severe arthritis and nothing else is working, Dr. Ellsworth can do joint replacement surgery.

If part of the affected joint is still healthy, he’ll do a partial joint replacement. That means he only removes one of the bone ends in your joint. If both bones are beyond saving, you’ll need a total joint replacement. There are also specialized approaches like reverse total shoulder replacement for patients with shoulder instability.

Call the Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance today or book an appointment online to benefit from Dr. Ellsworth’s expertise in treating arthritis.