Osteoarthritis in the knees is a common problem for men and women of varying ages in which the naturally occurring cartilage breaks down in the knee joints. When this natural cushioning is gone, your joints can rub closely together, causing pain, inflammation, stiffness and difficulty moving.
Arthritis in the knees might be hereditary or could be caused by overuse in athletes, injury or infection. No matter what the cause, nobody should have to live with constant knee pain. Fortunately, there are a number of effective treatment options available. Visit a knee specialist in Las Vegas, NV to discuss your options and decide which one is right for you.
Exercise and physical therapy
The first course of treatment is usually regular exercise or physical therapy. Even though movement can be difficult at first, exercise can help strengthen the muscles around your knee to help reduce pain and better stabilize your joints.
In more mild cases of osteoarthritis, your doctor may recommend you take medications like anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the swelling in your joints and minimize pain.
Over-the-counter medications can be used in the short term. If pain is still an issue, a knee specialist in Las Vegas, NV may decide to prescribe you a medication to help with pain.
Corticosteroid injections are highly effective at reducing inflammation. These injections are also a short-term solution, as many people can experience side effects after many injections. Patients usually require numerous injections in the same joint every few months for continuous pain relief.
Hyaluronic acid injections
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the joints that helps lubricate the joint and absorb shock. This acid tends to break down in people with osteoarthritis, so your doctor may suggest injections to supplement it. These supplemental injections can help reduce inflammation and pain.
Stem cell therapy
Stem cell therapy is a relatively new and promising form of treatment for joint pain. In the treatment, your knee specialist will harvest stem cells from your bone marrow, blood or fat and inject them into the site of the joint pain. Although its results are still being researched, experts have seen patients experience improved mobility and decreased pain and swelling following the injections. Most experts believe the stem cells either help regenerate lost cartilage, reduce inflammation or release proteins that slow cartilage degeneration.
In more severe cases of osteoarthritis, surgery may be necessary to stop the pain and restore mobility in the knee. There are a few common types of surgery that can be done:
- Arthroscopy: This form of surgery uses a small telescope to provide a clear view into the joint space, where the surgeon can repair damaged tissue and remove damaged cartilage.
- Osteotomy: In an osteotomy, your surgeon will change the shape of your bones to create a better alignment within the knee joint. It is often used to delay the need for joint replacement.
- Arthroplasty: Also known as joint replacement surgery, arthroplasty is when your surgeon replaces your damaged natural joints with artificial ones made of metal or plastic.
If you suffer from joint pain in the knees, schedule an appointment with Bernard Ong, M.D., a premier knee specialist in Las Vegas, NV. Whether you need orthopedic surgery, sports medicine, arthroscopy, meniscus surgery, ACL surgery, knee replacement or another form of treatment, Dr. Ong is prepared to give you a high level of personal and professional care. Call today!
Categorized in: Knee Specialist
This post was written by Writer