If you suffer from chronic knee pain and problems due to degeneration and/or injury, there are knee replacement surgery alternatives that may help you find the relief you need while avoiding surgery. While knee replacement surgery might be a solution for you if you suffer from knee problems, there are risks involved in undergoing the procedure. Anytime you undergo any surgery, no matter how routine, there is a risk of infection, as well as the risk of being placed under general anesthesia. There is also recovery time to consider as well as physical therapy you will need to complete in order to get back on your feet.
Knee replacement surgery is a point of no return. It should be a last resort. If you are considering knee replacement surgery, you owe it to yourself to learn about knee replacement surgery alternatives before you make any final decisions regarding your treatment.
Steroid Pain Injections
Steroid pain injections are a popular alternative to knee replacement surgery, and they may help a you get quick relief from the pain and knee stiffness that you are suffering from. The procedure is simple and done in a doctor’s office. During the procedure, the doctor will inject a corticosteroid into your knee joint. Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs and you should start to see an improvement in your symptoms fairly quickly, and in some cases that improvement can last for several months. Since a steroid injection is done directly into your knee you also don’t have to worry about most of the side effects that occur when you take an oral steroid. While steroid pain injections can be beneficial, they can be damaging to the joint and cartilage if they are done too many times in a short period of time. This is why patients are limited to up to 3 a year.
Hyaluronic Acid Injections (Gel Injections)
For patients with osteoarthritis, some doctors will recommend hyaluronic acid (HA) injections, often referred to as gel injections, if steroid injections and other pain relievers do not work to relieve pain. Hyaluronic acid is an important fluid in knees that is broken down by osteoarthritis. The goal of this injection is to replace and repair the HA that has been broken down in order to reduce joint pain and stiffness. If effective, this treatment may provide relief for a patient for anywhere from four months to one year.
If you are interested in knee replacement surgery alternatives that do not involve the use of drugs, then physical therapy could be a great option for you. While physical therapy will require time and commitment on your part, the benefits you get from dedicating yourself to the process will be well worth it. Physical therapy involves training your knee to make it stronger. In many cases, this will result in more strength and flexibility, as well as a reduction in knee pain. While physical therapy can be very beneficial, in cases where there is significant structural damage it will most likely not give you the results you are looking for.
One of the best ways to reduce pain in a bothersome knee is to reduce the load that the knee is forced to carry. Losing weight is very beneficial for your overall health in addition to helping you with any knee problems that you may have. While the process will require you to commit to a healthy diet and regular exercise, doing so can make a significant improvement in the quality of your life.
If you do suffer from knee problems and are interested in losing weight, doing so under the supervision of a doctor is definitely the best way to proceed. A doctor can evaluate your overall health before you undertake a weight loss program to ensure that you are healthy enough to do what you are planning to. They can also help you to formulate a healthy diet, and teach you about the types of exercises you can do that will help you to lose weight, while also avoiding causing any further damage to your knee. Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy as a means of strengthening your knee while helping you to lose weight.
Anti-inflammatory medications are a standard approach taken by many doctors when they are looking for knee replacement surgery alternatives for their patients. Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen work by reducing inflammation in your knee joint while also helping to ease the pain. Anti-inflammatory medications don’t have the dependency risk associated with opiates, and they are more effective than any over the counter pain medications that don’t address inflammation. While you can pick up some types of anti-inflammatory medications over the counter, it’s still better to discuss your options with your doctor. They can help you to come up with the right dosage to take, and they may also choose to prescribe you a stronger prescription medication instead of having you use an over the counter one.
While anti-inflammatory medications are generally well tolerated, there are some risks involved. First, they should only be taken with food since they can upset your stomach. They should also be avoided if you have any type of stomach or gastrointestinal issues since they can make these issues worse. Anti-inflammatory medications can also cause you to bleed more when injured, they can raise your blood pressure, and they may adversely affect your kidney or liver. While these are serious concerns, when you are under the care of a qualified doctor they can monitor you for any issues and help to mitigate the risks.
Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cell and Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapies
Regenerative treatments, which include growth factors, stem cell, and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapies, are some of the newest options for people who suffer from knee pain and problems that want to avoid having surgery. What makes regenerative and stem cell therapies so promising is the fact that the treatments help to address the cause of the problem instead of just treating the symptoms.
While medications may help with knee pain, and physical therapy can help to strengthen your knee, they won’t be able to fix any issues like tissue damage and degeneration. Regenerative treatment with growth factors, stem cell therapy, and PRP therapies have a healing potential that surgery and other discussed surgical alternatives do not. The procedures are minimally invasive, the risk of infection is almost non-existent, and has the added benefit of having little recovery time needed. You may be surprised to learn that a solution to your chronic knee problems is not only within reach, but it’s also far simpler and less invasive than you may have imagined.
When successful, which it most often is, regenerative therapy can help to repair the damage and degeneration that is causing your knee issues. In many cases, it is a far better option than surgery, which is why it is definitely worth considering and speaking with a doctor who is knowledgeable about this approach for your treatment. A high percentage of general physicians and orthopedic doctors are not well-educated about regenerative therapies. This is a different approach than the typical treatment options they may suggest.
At Renew Medical Centers, we treat regularly treat patients with regenerative stem cell, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), hyaluronic acid (gel) injections, and other regenerative treatments with growth factors.
When Brenda came to us, she had tried pain injections and was being told by an orthopedic doctor that she needed knee replacement surgery. In her opinion, surgery was a last option. Brenda decided to receive a regenerative treatment. In this video, Brenda shares her story and the results of her regenerative therapy, nine months after treatment.
With any medical treatment, there are no guarantees that it will or will not work for a patient. Each patient’s condition is unique. There are some cases where a patient will not be a candidate for regenerative treatment.
However, there are many cases where a patient is not a candidate for surgery but they are for regenerative or another non-surgical treatment.
Before determining if a patient is a candidate for regenerative treatment at Renew Medical Centers, one of our doctors must first do a full diagnostic of the area of pain during a patient consultation.
If you’re interested in considering regenerative treatments such as stem cell and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapies and/or other non-surgical options, contact the medical team at Renew Medical Centers.
To learn more about regenerative medicine and non-surgical treatment options, register to attend one of our free local classes, and get your questions answered.
If you have some questions you would like to ask before scheduling a patient consultation, request a call to start determining if you are a candidate for treatment.
If you would like to schedule a your patient consultation with one of our doctors at Renew Medical Centers and determine if you are a candidate.