Knee problems are becoming more and more prevalent for patients of all ages, as old sports injuries rear their ugly head. However, even for those in constant pain, going under the knife should never be the first option. There are many treatment options that can add longevity to your knees and have been found to be just as effective as surgery.
8 Ways You Can Avoid Knee Replacement Surgery
- Weight loss. For every pound less that you weigh, you will place 3 pounds less of force on your knee joint when you walk.
- Physical therapy. When you strengthen the muscles around an arthritic joint, it can help to reduce the force and pain on the joint. There are some exercises that are very hard on an arthritic knee. A physical therapist is a good resource when seeking guidance for the correct exercises.
- Anti-inflammatory medicine. An oral anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or Aleve can be helpful. However, a primary care physician should determine if you are a good candidate before hand. As anybody with a history of renal disease or stomach ulcers cannot take this class of medication.
- Unloader knee brace. 90% of people‘s new arthritis is located in the inner part of their knee (also known as the medial compartment). An unloader knee brace can force you to place more weight on the outer half of your knee which typically does not have the same degree of arthritis. This can help to significantly reduce pain from arthritis and theoretically lessen the progression of the arthritis or at least slow it down.
- Cortisone injection. Cortisone is a steroid that is known to help reduce inflammation in the inner part of the knee joint. However, it is only temporary and tends to work between 3 to 6 months
- Hyaluronic injection. Hyaluronic acid is a natural fluid in your knee joint. When you get arthritis, this fluid becomes very thin and does not provide a cushion to the knee. Injecting a synthetic hyaluronic acid tricks the knee joint into producing a more normal fluid for about 6 to 12 months. This can help reduce knee pain for that duration of time in an arthritic knee.
- PRP injection. PRP stands for platelet rich plasma. Platelets have a significant amount of growth factors. Blood is drawn from your arm, centrifuged, and then platelets are injected back into the knee joint. This can give you up to 12–24 months of pain relief in an arthritic knee.
- Stem cell recruitment therapy. Stem cell injections are the only true treatment option that can help to improve the health of a knee joint. It is the first treatment modality that can actually reverse or slow down the arthritic process.
If you are suffering from joint pain due to inflammation, arthritis, or an injury — contact Dr. Stacie Grossfeld today by calling 502-212-2663. Dr. Stacie Grossfeld is an orthopedic surgeon in Louisville, KY who is double board-certified in orthopedics and sports medicine. She has over 20 years of experience in orthopedics and is always looking for new treatment methods to bring to her clientele. Orthopaedic Specialists has two convenient locations in Louisville, KY and is currently accepting new patients.