Knee pain is a common complaint in the elderly, and nowadays, even adults are experiencing the same. There could be multiple causes of knee pain that may range from severe trauma to age-related degeneration of joints. The intensity of knee pain depends on the cause of the condition, and this decides the type of treatment required.
Multiple treatment options for knee pain are there from easy rest to ORIF surgery. The orthopedic specialist will decide the best one depending on the severity. In this blog, we will discuss available treatments for knee pain. When a severe condition like osteoarthritis is the cause of knee pain and conventional treatments are not feasible, surgery is the ultimate answer. Here, knee replacement surgery is commonest.
Treatment Options for Knee Pain
From simple home remedies to surgery, multiple knee pain treatment options are there. Let us have a look.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
In today’s world, obesity has become a major problem. Not only adults but even kids are suffering from obesity. It is also a common cause of joint pain, and the knee joint is no different. In obese, extra muscle mass is there and over time, it puts stress on the joints. As a result, the joint experiences more wear & tear while causing pain.
Now, if we talk about pain intensity, it is low in the starting and as wear & tear progresses, intense pain is there. So, reducing a few kilos may help improve knee pain.
If we talk about knee pain in obese, the orthopedic specialist will first recommend reducing weight before he decides to go for other treatments. Thus, it won’t be wrong to say that maintaining a healthy weight can significantly minimize knee pain and reduce the need for surgery. This is often true for people with osteoarthritis.
Physical Therapy for Knee Pain
Another treatment option for knee pain is physical therapy as it improves pain, range of motion of the joint, flexibility, and strength. If the pain is mild or moderate and imaging tests depict no fracture, physical therapy is worth trying and even orthopedic specialists suggest the same.
Depending on the intensity of the pain, the physiotherapist will plan an exercise regime. Physiotherapy is the best option for severe strain and sprain. Physical therapy is also a part of the rehabilitation program after surgery.
Here, it is important to make sure that the person is doing exercises correctly as the wrong techniques can do more harm than good. So, consulting a good physiotherapist is a must.
Medication for Knee Pain
Sometimes, over-the-counter drugs are enough to relieve painful symptoms along with inflammation & stiffness. NSAIDs are most suggested. However, OTC drugs must not be taken for too long as they have serious side effects associated. Hence, one should prefer prescription drugs. Sometimes, the orthopedic specialist will suggest topical ointments for knee pain relief.
Prescription drugs are the option when OTC drugs fail.
Another option here is steroid injections which are applied directly to the affected knee joint. These injections provide quick relief from pain and inflammation. Above all, they are highly effective and long-lasting. However, the healthcare service provider gives only limited doses of injections depending on the severity.
Acupuncture for Knee Pain
Acupuncture is an effective way of improving pain where the specialist will perform needle punctures at various points on the affected knee and other locations of the body. This blocks pain signals and improve blood circulation.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese technique that is often tried to improve knee joint pain associated with arthritis. For better results, consult an experienced & skilled acupuncturist.
Prolotherapy is an effective non-surgical treatment for various musculoskeletal conditions like knee joint pain. During prolotherapy, the specialist will inject an irritant into the knee joint. In most cases, the irritant is a dextrose solution.
Irritant works by stimulating the natural healing abilities of the body. This therapy improves blood flow and the supply of nutrients. Prolotherapy is not for all as the orthopedic specialist will decide whether it will work or not.
Arthroscopic surgery is a form of minimally invasive technique that uses a tiny camera known as an arthroscope to produce pictures of the joint. Besides this, special orthopedic implants and instruments are used during arthroscopy. This technique is less invasive than the traditional procedure and ensures faster & better recovery. In most arthroscopy cases, the patient can go home the same day.
Arthroscopy is ideal for the treatment of meniscal tear, ligament damage, ACL tear, and cartilage damage. Again, the technique is not feasible for all knee pain cases and it requires a thorough examination before deciding whether it will work or not.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy is highly effective in regenerating cartilage tissue in the knee for the treatment of osteoarthritis. They are applied in the knee during the therapy. This helps slow the damage and repair cartilage. Besides this, it also helps improve the range of motion and reduce pain & inflammation.
Stem cell therapy is also sometimes effective in delaying or eliminating the need for knee replacement surgery. A thorough examination of the cause of knee pain and the overall health status of the patient is necessary before opting for stem cell therapy.
Another treatment option for knee pain is the plasma-rich protein injection. However, this is not a method of choice but it is effective. PRP injections involve taking a blood sample from the patient and extracting platelets containing growth factors. This platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the affected knee joint.
These injections may stimulate healing and provide relief from pain and inflammation. PRP therapy is becoming popular because of the effectiveness of the procedure and minimal pain.
Knee osteotomy is feasible when there is damage to only one side of the knee. During the procedure, the surgeon will shift the weight-bearing load of the knee away from the damaged portion of the knee. Knee osteotomy is the choice of procedure for younger and active patients with knee osteoarthritis where injury to only one compartment of the knee is there. The procedure is not suitable for the elderly.
Surgical treatment is the option for knee ailments that conventional non-surgical methods cannot fix. The type of surgery required depends on the severity of the knee injury. Options available for the surgery include:
- Partial knee replacement surgery
- Total knee replacement surgery
During knee replacement surgeries, damaged knee parts are removed and replaced with knee implants.
These above-mentioned are preferred treatment options for knee pain depending on the condition. Here, it is important to notice that not all are feasible for everyone as the orthopedic specialist decides the best one after a thorough examination.
Siora Surgicals Pvt. Ltd. is a renowned orthopedic device company in India with over 3 decades of experience. The company manages a huge inventory of finished and semi-finished orthopedic implants that are made using medical-grade stainless steel and titanium. Siora is also an experienced OEM/contract manufacturing service provider around the globe.