The knee is a major weight-bearing joint and it is most prone to damage from osteoarthritis (OA). The most common symptom of OA is knee pain. For individuals with OA, one of the primary objectives is to reduce pain. In this article, we will discuss the best treatments for osteoarthritis in the knees. If you are suffering from OA then this article will help you to know about the new treatments with or without surgery.
New Treatments for Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Osteoarthritis of the knee joint, which is caused by cartilage breakdown, has become a major health problem worldwide. For patients with symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee, many different treatments are available such as:
1. Hyaluronic Acid or Hyaluronate Injections
This is a new treatment that helps to restore synovial fluid which is a slippery substance that provides lubrication to the joints. Doctors often inject hyaluronate in the patient’s knee joint to restore mobility and cut the pain.
2. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections
In this treatment, the doctor takes the patient’s blood sample and extracts plasma from it by spinning the blood in a centrifuge. This concentrated mixture is then injected into the patient’s joint to promote healing.
3. Knee Arthritis Treatment Without Surgery
Acupuncture, yoga, meditation, chiropractic manipulation, physical therapy, and other traditional approaches have a place in treating Knee Osteoarthritis. Knee joints affect the patient’s life significantly in performing daily basic activities. If you are facing the issue of knee arthritis and want to avoid surgery, the following are some treatments that can be done without surgery:
When patients start experiencing issues from arthritis the doctors recommend physical therapy as the first option. Stretching and strengthening of muscles in hamstrings and quads can help to take the stress of the knee. Physical therapy helps to maintain proper alignment of the joint and cut the pain. If you are facing knee arthritis issues, you must consult your doctor about physical therapy.
These medications are often prescribed by the doctor for patients with arthritis issues. The anti-inflammatory joints help to reduce the swelling in the joints that cut the pain in the knees.
Though it is not possible to apply ice all the time, it is a simple home remedy that patients use to reduce the swelling in the joints, especially after exercise. This is a popular method to reduce joint pain and stiffness in the joints.
When methods like icing, physical therapy, or oral medications do not work, the next option is likely to be injections. For treating arthritis in the knees, there are two types of injections used that are steroid injections and anti-inflammatory injections.
The steroid injections are capable of providing quick results but only last 4 weeks on average and you might need to get injections every month. On the other hand, the anti-inflammatory injections involve a combination of anti-inflammatory agents, natural lubricants, and hyaluronic acid that lasts up to 6 months. Though, it can take a few weeks for the anti-inflammatory injections to start working.
PRP therapy is still in its experimental stage though it is another form of injection. In this therapy, the Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is injected into the joint.
Living with Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a prevalent condition in which joint surfaces degrade and change in function, leading to pain and dysfunction. Conventional medicine involves both non-surgical and surgical management. No known drug or intervention stops the process of OA progression, although some suggest surgical techniques are more effective than non-surgical methods.
OA is the most common chronic condition and a leading cause of activity limitation and disability. The pain intensity has a direct effect on difficulty walking upstairs and sitting for prolonged periods. It is difficult to live with OA hence you should consult with your doctor as soon as possible. When people do not get proper treatment, the problem becomes severe.
If the non-surgical treatments do not work for you, then you should consult the doctor for new surgical treatments. Technological advancements have made these treatments very easy and the joints get healed quickly. If you are facing minor issues with your knee then you should get checked for arthritis. It is a common joint disease characterized by the degradation of articular cartilage.
Osteoarthritis of the knee is one of the major issues faced by both young and older people. Fortunately, there are both surgical and non-surgical treatments available for treating OA. If you are suffering from OA of the knee then you should take medical supervision as quickly as possible.
These new treatments cause less pain and heal the joints in a shorter time. We hope this article helped you to know about different treatments of OS and now you can make the right choice for the treatment of your knee pain.
Total vs Partial Joint Replacement
There are two types of joint surgeries performed: Total Joint Replacement and partial.
In total joint replacement, the damaged cartilage is replaced entirely with a prosthesis wherein in partial joint replacement only the damaged portion of the joint is replaced. The new techniques of joint surgery have made both these surgeries highly successful. With the aid of robotic-assisted technology, these procedures are done with high accuracy and provide better results.
Partial joint surgery is less invasive as compared to total joint replacement. In younger patients, usually, partial surgery is performed as it requires less surgery and provides quick recovery. Youngsters who perform sports activities often suffer from joint injuries hence they need to get these surgeries to recover fast and get back to their sports activities.
When Is The Right Time for Joint Replacement?
If you are suffering from joint problems then you should speak with your orthopedic specialist regarding the best options. Sometimes the joint issues get treated with non-surgical methods and there is no need for surgery. There are many non-surgical treatments such as steroid injections, lubricants, pain killers, etc. that can eliminate the pain without surgery.
You must consider other options before going for a total joint replacement because some less extensive surgeries have many improved benefits and have a fast recovery time. You must understand that total joint replacement surgeries will bring a change to your lifestyle and you need to make some healthy changes to achieve maximum benefits.
Benefits of Outpatient Joint Surgery
Outpatient surgery which is also called ambulatory surgery provides you with the comfort of faster recovery, less cost, and shorter stay at the hospital, mostly the same day. If your doctor says you are a good candidate for outpatient joint surgery then you can get some improved benefits such as:
Lower infection risk
Better recovery at home
Fast and aggressive physical therapy
Joint surgeries are improving on a rapid scale and the benefits are getting improved with these advancements. Nowadays, it is getting easy for patients to get their joint problems treated without any extensive procedure or chronic pain. If you are facing joint issues, you should consult with your doctor and ask for all options.
The high success rates of these procedures are making joint surgeries a great option for joint problems. We hope this article improved your knowledge regarding the new techniques and joint surgery and its improved benefits. If you are about to get joint surgery, we wish you good luck with your treatment and hope for the best.
Dr. Kundan K Jha
MBBS - DNB Orthopaedic Surgery - FIJR, FIAS
Dr. Kundan Kumar Jha is a Sport Injury Specialist,Sports Medicine Surgeon and Joint Replacement Surgeon in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad and has an experience of 7 years in these fields. Dr. Kundan Kumar Jha practices at Regenio Lakki Scope Orthopaedics in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. He completed MBBS from UCMS in 2015 and DNB - Orthopedics/Orthopedic Surgery from National Board of Examination, India in 2020.