Non-surgical treatments for osteoarthritis and knee pain
The number of people suffering from osteoarthritis is estimated to be around 27 million in the US. Osteoarthritis is a debilitating disease that not only affects the quality of life but can also lead to long-term disability. Knee pain affects millions of people worldwide and is one of the common complaints people have when they visit their doctor. It can be caused by several different things, but osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes.
There are several different treatment options available for people suffering from osteoarthritis, but not all of them are suitable for everyone. Surgery is an option for some people, but it is not always necessary. Several nonsurgical treatments can be effective in treating the pain and symptoms of osteoarthritis.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that can affect any part of the body, but it is most common in the knees. It is caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in joints, which can lead to pain, stiffness, and swelling. It is often called a "wear and tear" disease
What are risk factors for knee osteoarthritis?
Several risk factors can increase a person's chances of developing osteoarthritis of the knee joint, including:
- Age - the older you are, the higher your risk is
- Genetics - family history may play a role in your susceptibility to this disease
- Obesity - excess weight puts extra strain on your joints. Bearing weight can lead to knee problems as knee cartilage is worn down.
- Previous injuries or joint diseases - previous injuries and other joint medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can place added stress on your knees and increase the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis and severe pain.
- High impact activities can lead to later knee arthritis including knee injury.
How can I prevent knee pain?
There are several things you can do to prevent knee pain, or at least reduce your risk of developing it or to provie relief. Some simple tips include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight: You knee bear weight so this will help to reduce the amount of stress on your knees
- Weight loss: If you are overweight or obese, then losing weight can help to reduce the amount of stress on your joints, which can in turn help to reduce the pain. Carrying around excess weight puts additional strain on your joints, which can worsen the pain. If you are overweight, talk to your doctor about a weight loss plan that is right for you.
- Wearing supportive shoes: this will help to protect your joints from impact
- Exercising regularly: this will help to strengthen the muscles around your joints and improve range of motion
- Avoiding high-impact activities (repeated stress): if you know you are at risk for developing osteoarthritis, it is best to avoid activities that put extra strain on your joints.
What are common nonsurgical treatments for osteoarthritis
There are several different non surgical treatments that provide relief from the pain and other symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. These include:
- ·Acupuncture - This technique is effective in relieving pain by stimulating certain points on your body with tiny needles
- Physical therapy can help strengthen joints, improve flexibility, and reduce stress on your knees. A physical therapist will work closely with you to develop a program tailored specifically to your needs.
- Heat or cold therapy - applying warm or cold compresses directly to the affected joint may help ease swelling and inflammation. You could also try an ice pack or heating pad at home for temporary relief from symptoms.
- Weight loss If you are overweight or obese, then losing weight can help to reduce the amount of stress on your joints, which can in turn help to reduce the pain
- Exercise: Exercise is an important part of maintaining joint health. It helps strengthen the muscles around the joint and increases flexibility
What are common surgical treatments are used to treat knee osteoarthritis?
The common surgical treatments used to treat knee osteoarthritis include :
- Arthroscopy - this is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that is used to remove damaged cartilage or debris from the knee joint. It can also be used to repair ligaments or tendons.
- Osteotomy - this is a surgical procedure that involves cutting and realigning the bone around the knee joint to take pressure off of the joint.
- Joint replacement surgery - this is a more invasive surgical procedure that involves removing the damaged joint and replacing it with an artificial joint. This is usually only considered when other treatments have failed to provide relief from pain and disability.
Knee osteoarthritis is a debilitating disease that can cause severe pain and disability. There are emerging treatment options now available to reduce pain.
What is the emerging new, non surgical procedure for knee pain?
Initially used for hemarthrosis, genicular artery embolization (also call geniculate artery embolization) has proven over last decade to have significant and lasting results in treating knee pain. For example, the pain score dropped from an average of 7.4 to 2.8 at 3 months post-procedure in one study, with a corresponding drop in the use of analgesics.
The key is the embolization of the genicular arteries, which leads to decreased blood supply and pain reduction by interruption of pain signals (nociceptive input) from the knee joint. This ability to relieve pain is why more and more people are choosing this treatment.
What is genicular artery embolization (also call geniculate artery embolization)
Genicular artery embolization is a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure that is used to treat knee pain. It involves the placement of a small catheter into the arteries that supply blood to the knee joint. Once the catheter is in place, small particles are injected into the artery to block off the blood flow. This leads to a decrease in the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the knee joint, which can help to reduce pain.
What are the benefits of genicular artery embolization?
There are many benefits of genicular artery embolization, including:
- Reduced pain: this is the most common reason why people choose this treatment. The interruption of pain signals from the knee joint can lead to a significant reduction in pain.
- Reduced inflammation: the decreased blood supply to the knee joint can also help to reduce inflammation.
- Reduced need for pain medication: because genicular artery embolization can lead to a significant reduction in pain, it can also help to reduce the need for pain medication. This is important because many people who take pain medication for knee pain end up with side effects from the medication, such as stomach ulcers and liver damage.
- Increased mobility: because genicular artery embolization can lead to a decrease in pain and inflammation, it can also help to increase mobility. This is important because many people with knee osteoarthritis find that their mobility is limited by their pain and swelling.
- Improved quality of life: the increased mobility and decreased pain that can result from genicular artery embolization can lead to an improved quality of life. This is important because many people with knee osteoarthritis find that their disease hurts their ability to enjoy their life.
Who performs genicular artery embolization (also call geniculate artery embolization)
Genicular artery embolization is performed by interventional radiologists. These are doctors who specialize in minimally-invasive procedures that use imaging to guide the placement of tiny catheters and other devices using "pinhole" procedures.
How do I find out whether genicular artery embolization is right for me?
If you are experiencing knee pain, the first step is to talk to your doctor. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether genicular artery embolization is a good option for you. You may also want to consult with an Imaging & Interventional Specialist (interventional radiologists) to learn more about this treatment option and whether this could benefit you..
How do Imaging & Interventional Specialists determine if I am a candidate for geniculate artery embolization?
An Imaging & Interventional Specialist will take a detailed history, review provided chart notes, perform a complete physical exam and evaluate and/or order detailed images including:
- radiographs (X-rays)
- computed tomography (CT scan)
- magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of disease affecting the knee. This evaluation will determine whether you will benefit from the outpatient, "pinhole" procedure.
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.