back pain

Knee replacement surgery

Knee osteoarthritis is often a painful and disabling condition. Many people consider total knee replacement surgery as a way to treat osteoarthritis of the knee but it is important to know that there are a number of non-surgical options to consider.

If you are struggling with knee osteoarthritis, before undergoing surgery like total knee replacement, learn more about the top 10 ways to treat osteoarthritis of the knee WITHOUT undergoing knee replacement surgery. You should always talk to your doctor or orthopaedic surgeon for further information and medical advice. Here are 10 non surgical options you might consider trying to treat knee osteoarthritis before undergoing total knee replacement surgery:

  1. Exercises specific for knee arthritis and these include: water aerobics, floor exercises, yoga and weights

  2. Supplements: glucosamine with chrondrotin 1500 mg per day. Make sure you are not allergic to shellfish. Check the label some glucosamine has shellfish in the supplement. Fish oil is an omega 3 and it is good for joint health. It should be taken at least 1000 mg per day.

  3. Oral NSAIDs: over the counter vs. prescription. Check with your doctor to see if you are a candidate. Another option is the use of aspirin or Tylenol (acetaminophen) both of these medications are over the counter.

  4. Hyaluronic acid (HA) injection: the normal knee has hyaluronic acid (HA) with a thick and viscous consistency. As the knee becomes arthritic the composition of the HA changes. The injection replaces a fluid similar to the healthy fluid found in a normal knee. There are many brands on the market. They can be given as a single dose injection or a series of injections ranging from 3 to 5 based on the brand. Examples of the different brands are: hyalgan, orthovisc, synvisc, supartz, and euflexa.

  5. Cortisone injection: cortisone is like a strong Motrin/Eleve, in the sense that it is able to slow down or reduce the inflammatory process that is produced by the knee osteoarthritis. The injection can be given every three months. If given more than every three months if does not work as well. Cortisone does not destroy the knee joint, the bones in the knee or the knee ligaments/ tendons. There are a lot of myths about cortisone. The bottom line is that cortisone will not damage an arthritic knee joint. Cortisone given in the knee joint does not cause the person to gain weight. Cortisone can temporarily raise a person’s blood sugar if they are a diabetic.

  6. Unloader knee braces: a special brace that is used for patients that have knee pain with activity. The concept behind the unloader knee brace is that it forces the person to put more weight on the non arthritic side of the knee. Most people with arthritis have one side that is less affected by the arthritis and cartilage loss. Some of the different brands of the unloader custom braces are: Berg and Donjoy. They can be ordered through your doctor. The arthritic leg must be measured so the brace fits properly and then the braces built to fit each individual knee. Most insurance plans will cover the brace.

  7. PRP also known as platelet rich plasma: there are enzymes in PRP that may help reduce the progression of knee osteoarthritis and decrease the symptoms. PRP is produced by withdrawing blood from the person and separating out the highly concentrated plasma and injecting it into the arthritic knee joint

  8. Weight loss: the less weight on the arthritic knee typically will help to reduce the pain from the arthritis and may slow down the progression. Morbidity obese patients have a higher incidence of knee arthritis at a younger age.

  9. Capsaicin: this is a topical cream made out of red peppers that can help reduce the pain of knee arthritis. It can be purchased over the counter at most grocery or drug stores (for example, Walgreens, Kroger, Costco or Walmart)

  10. Simple slip on knee brace: an over the counter knee brace that slips over the knee made of neoprene with Velcro straps. The brace can help give a sense of more support to the knee and it provides warmth to the knee with can help ease arthritic pain.

If you are suffering from knee osteoarthritis, before you decide on major surgery like total knee replacement surgery, it is beneficial for you to learn about your non surgical alternatives. There are a number of things you can try first including unloader knee braces or platelet rich plasma (PRP) before undergoing total knee replacement. For more information about your options to treat knee osteoarthritis, contact a board certified and experienced orthopaedic surgeon like Orthopaedic Specialists in Louisville, Kentucky.

Dr. Stacie L. Grossfeld is a board certified Orthopaedic Surgeon practicing in Louisville, Kentucky. She graduated from the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and completed a fellowship in Sports Medicine at the Fowler-Kennedy Sports Medicine Center. Dr. Grossfeld currently works in private practice at Orthopaedic Specialists. Dr. Grossfeld also serves as a clinical instructor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Louisville. Her special interests are in knee and shoulder reconstruction and sports medicine. To learn more about her medical practice, check out http://www.louisvillebones.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stacie_L._Grossfeld,_MD
http://EzineArticles.com/?Ten-Non-Surgical-Alternatives-to-Total-Knee-Replacement-Surgery-to-Treat-Osteoarthritis-in-the-Knee&id=7203329