Knee pain is one of the most common agonies suffered by everyone in the world at some point in time. In most cases, especially in older adults, the debilitating knee pain is the result of Knee arthritis that gets severe as age catches up. What starts as mild pain gradually develops into stiffness limiting the range of motion and decreasing the quality of life.
Though Knee Replacement Surgery is the most effective treatment option for knee arthritis, in most cases, even surgery may not be needed. There are several non-surgical alternatives to Knee Replacement Surgery that your knee specialist can help you with, depending on the severity of the patient’s arthritis.
Here are 4 alternatives to Knee Replacement Surgery offered by Knee Replacement Surgeons around the world:
1. Lifestyle Modification:
Lifestyle modification is the first and foremost suggestion given by any knee specialist in arthritis cases. Though you cannot entirely prevent knee arthritis, you can delay its onset by a fair measure if you can make a few lifestyle changes.
Weight loss is the most important modification you must seriously consider, given every pound of weight-loss removes 4 pounds of additional burden on your knees. Avoid smoking and excessive drinking. Make anti-inflammatory foods like fish, dark leafy & cruciferous vegetables, nuts, whole grains and avoid sugars, saturated food, and refined carbohydrates.
2. Exercise & Physical Therapy:
Physical inactivity can gradually lead to loss of cartilage (cushions) making the knee condition worse accelerating arthritis. Exercise not only strengthens your leg muscles but also helps your knee by stimulating the synovial fluid and nourishing the cartilage. Patients can choose low impact joint-friendly exercises like swimming, walking or biking to make the blood pumping.
In case the knee joint is stiff and painful to perform low-impact exercises taking a few physical therapy sessions can help you reduce pain and improve strength.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Medications:
Inflammation in the knee is one of the main causes of arthritis and reducing this inflammation is one way to reduce pain and ache, albeit only temporary.
Over the counter medications (OTC) are effective in reducing the pain, stiffness & swelling caused by knee arthritis and also fairly tolerated by arthritis patients. Though anti-inflammatory medications offer only temporary relief they are found to be very useful when a patient wants to take his time before undergoing knee replacement surgery.
4. Fluid Injections:
Loss of lubrication to the joints one of the causes of the knee pain which gradually progresses to joint damage. For the patients who haven’t got sufficient relief from lifestyle modifications, exercise or pain killers, fluid therapy can help improve knee health.
A solution made from natural lubricants found in the human body is injected to the knee once every 5 weeks to re-lubricate the joint thus reducing the pain in the joints. Few patients are recommended this procedure by the knee replacement surgeons to reduce the knee pain and delay the knee replacement surgery.
That said, not just the above, but there are other procedures as well which can act as alternatives to knee replacement procedures. Want to know more details about other alternative procedures as well? Mumbai’s Top Knee Replacement Surgeon Dr. Niraj Vora can help you.