Non surgical alternatives to knee replacement
Knee replacements are performed for many reasons. The most common reason is osteoarthritis. This is a degenerative disease that breaks down the cartilage in the knee joint. You could experience trouble climbing stairs, and continued pain, Other reasons for knee replacement surgery include rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, and avascular necrosis.
In the USA approximately 600,000 knee replacements are performed each year.
What is a knee replacement?
Knee Replacement also called knee arthroplasty is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. A total knee replacement is a surgical procedure in which the knee joint is replaced by a prosthetic implant.
Why would you not get a knee replacement?
There are many things to consider before deciding to have this surgery.
- Age, weight, activity level, and overall health are all factors in whether or not you are a good candidate for knee replacement surgery.
- if your pain was controlled could you put off a knee replacement
- are there other less invasive treatments
If you are a poor surgical candidate then learning about non surgical alternatives is vital.
A knee replacement has a shelf life. It will last you 10 to 15 years. For some people finding a way to delay knee replacement is very important.
If you are considering knee replacement surgery it is important to explore other treatments. Treatment options to a traditional knee replacement surgery can offer relief from pain and help you avoid the risks associated with surgery.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects millions of Americans. It is the most common type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis breaks down the cartilage in the joints. Cartilage is the smooth tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. It helps protect the joints and allows them to move smoothly.
As osteoarthritis progresses, the cartilage breaks down, and damaged cartilage becomes frayed. The bone underneath starts to thicken. There is swelling of joints and they may become painful, and limited in movement.
You are at risk for osteoarthritis if you have a family history of the disease, are overweight, or have had a knee injury.
Many nonsurgical treatments can help provide pain relief from osteoarthritis and improve joint function. These include:
- Weight loss
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Braces or orthotics
- Pain relief medication
- Steroid injections
- Joint lubrication injections
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
- Genicular artery embolization
Some patients with early-stage knee problems may be candidates for nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy, medications, weight loss, or the use of assistive devices such as canes or braces. Injections of different substances into the knee joint (such as corticosteroids or lubricants) are also sometimes helpful in treating knee pain. If these conservative measures do not provide relief, surgery may be recommended.
One of the best things you can do for osteoarthritis is to lose weight. Every pound of weight you lose takes four pounds of pressure off your knees. That means if you lose just 10 pounds, you take 40 pounds of pressure off your knees. This can help relieve pain and improve joint function.
Exercise is another important treatment for osteoarthritis. It helps strengthen leg muscles around the joints, supports the joints and provides joint releif. Exercise also helps improve range of motion and flexibility. Physical activity can also help you lose weight.
Physical therapy can help relieve pain, improve range of motion, and increase muscle strength. A physical therapist can also teach you how to use assistive devices such as canes and braces. They can also teach you exercises to help improve joint function.
An occupational therapist can help you find ways to do your daily activities without putting too much stress on your joints. They can also teach you how to use assistive devices such as canes and braces.
Braces or orthotics
Wearing a knee brace can help reduce pain by taking pressure off the joint. Orthotics are devices that are inserted into shoes to help control foot position and alignment. Wearing orthotics can help relieve pain in the knees, hips, and back.
Pain relief medication
There are many different types of pain medications available. These include over-the-counter medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). Prescription NSAIDs are also available.
Steroid injections can help reduce pain and inflammation. They are usually given every four to six weeks.
Joint lubrication injections
Joint lubrication injections can help reduce pain and improve joint function. The most common type of injection is called hyaluronic acid (HA) injection. HA is a substance that occurs naturally in the body. It helps lubricate and cushion the joints.
PRP therapy uses a patient’s own blood to treat knee osteoarthritis. A small amount of blood is drawn from the patient and then placed in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the other blood cells. The platelets are then injected into the knee joint. PRP therapy is thought to help reduce pain and improve joint function.
Viscosupplementation is a type of injection that helps lubricate and cushion the joints. The most common type of injection is called hyaluronic acid (HA) injection. HA is a substance that occurs naturally in the body. It helps lubricate and cushion the joints.
Genicular artery embolization
More and more patients are choosing genicular artery embolization to relieve knee pain. It is a simple, outpatient, same say procedure providing effective treatment. There is no general anesthesia and no cutting. Just a "pinhole" procedure. Genicular artery embolization is a procedure that blocks the blood supply to the knee joint specifically the blood flow to sites of inflammation. Many patients find full recovery from pain by reducing inflammation.
How do Imaging & Interventional Specialsts determine if I am a candidate for genicular artery embolization (also called geniculate artery embolization)?
An Imaging & Interventional Specialist will take a detailed history, review provided chart notes, perform a complete physical examination and evaluate and/or order imaging studies that include:
- radiographs (X-rays)
- computed tomography (CT)
- magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Using these methods an Imaging & Interventional Specialist can determine whether you would benefit from genicular artery embolization (also called geniculate artery embolization).
Why choose Imaging & Interventional Specialists to treat your knee pain with genicular artery embolization?
Our experienced board-certified specialists successfully perform “pinhole” genicular artery embolization offering this region leading, world-class, state-of-the-art solutions to knee pain. Our minimally invasive image-guided procedures are cutting edge technology without the cutting, without the scalpel. You leave with a Band-Aid!
- Procedures are usually done in a comfortable outpatient setting with familiar friendly staff
- Pinhole procedures offer fast recovery, less risk, and less pain
Imaging & Interventional Specialists are leaders in interventional radiology and experts in the minimally invasive procedures such as genicular artery embolization that will cure or minimize your knee pain.
Using state-of-the-art equipment, our experienced board-certified specialists are focused on your best outcome.
At Imaging & Interventional Specialists board certified physicians offer in-house testing for diagnosis and to develop an individualized treatment program for your knee pain.