Cost: $2,000 to $5,000, depending on the difficulty
Early-stage joint problems can be treated for minimal cost with anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, steroid injections and supplements such as glucosamine.
For serious problems, doctors increasingly use arthroscopy to look inside the joint with a tiny camera and make repairs that once required major surgery.
Arthroscopy to treat knees and shoulders (including common rotator cuff injuries) damaged byphysical activity is common. New, smaller devices now allow arthroscopy of wrists, elbows and ankles.
Downside: There's debate over the efficacy ofarthroscopy for some injuries. And a controversial New England Journal of Medicine article found that it was ineffective in treating arthritis of the knee.
For more: To bone up on your bones and joints, see orthoinfo.aaos.org