Knee pain can be extremely debilitating and negatively affect quality of life. As the body ages, the joints begin to deteriorate which can lead to arthritis. In some cases, pain is so severe that your doctor may recommend a knee replacement. Today, there are a variety of knee replacement alternatives for patients who want to delay or postpone knee replacement surgery. OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine offers knee arthritis treatment to patients living in the Dallas, Ft. Worth and Arlington area.
Anatomy of the Knee
The knee is the largest and most complex joint in the body. The femur (thighbone), patella (kneecap) and tibia (shinbone) are the three bones that make up the knee. Each bone is covered by articular cartilage that helps the knee joint smoothly bend and straighten. Two menisci between the thighbone and shinbone act as shock absorbers to cushion and stabilize the knee joint. In addition to the articular cartilage and meniscus, the synovial membrane covers the bones in the knee and releases a fluid that lubricates the cartilage to reduce friction within the joint.
Types of Knee Arthritis
There are three major types of arthritis that can affect the knee.
- Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis that leads to a knee replacement. This form of degenerative type of arthritis is commonly seen in patients 50 years or older. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage becomes frayed and rough causing the protective space between the bones to decrease. This type of arthritis develops slowly and pain worsens over time.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic disease that can attack multiple joints in the body. This type of arthritis occurs when the synovial membrane that covers the bones begins to swell causing pain and stiffness. This is a symmetrical condition, meaning it usually affects the same joints on both sides of the body.
- Posttraumatic Arthritis forms after an injury to knee. A broken bone can damage the joint surface and lead to arthritis years later. Meniscal tears and ligament injuries can also lead to knee instability creating additional wear on the joint. This can also lead to posttraumatic arthritis.
Knee Arthritis Treatment
Knee replacement is often recommended as a treatment for severe arthritis of the knee; however, many patients prefer to delay this procedure for as long as possible. For these patients, there are a variety of knee replacement alternatives including:
- Anti-Inflammatory medication
- Knee Braces
- Physical Therapy
- Weight loss
- Cortisone injections
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections
OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine offers cortisone and PRP injections for patients seeking knee replacement alternatives. For patients suffering from extreme acute knee pain, a cortisone steroid injection is a viable option.
For those who are seeking a longer term solution for knee arthritis treatment, PRP injections for knee arthritis uses the body’s own healing abilities to alleviate knee pain and delay arthritis progression. This minimally invasive, low risk procedure is a simple in-office procedure. Most patients begin to see improvements in symptoms in two to four weeks. PRP injections have been shown to slow the progression of worsening knee osteoarthritis.