A sore knee is an all-too-familiar feeling for many of us. It can be caused by aging, the heavy lifting you do at work, or your vigorous football training. Fortunately, this kind of discomfort does not usually point to a serious condition and may be relieved with rest and other home remedies.
But if your knees start to get hurt frequently and persistently, and do not get better with rest, you may be developing a disorder called arthritis.
Knee arthritis refers to a progressive and degenerative disease that affects the knee joints. It is characterized by the gradual wearing down of the cartilages in the knees, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. As the disease progress over time, it may cause the bones to rub against each other during movement, causing damage and bone spurs.
As of late, science has yet to discover a definite cure for arthritis. However, there are many scientifically proven ways to help ease your pain and get your body moving again. This includes the following:
- Physical therapy and exercise
Exercise may seem like a bad idea for someone with an aching and swelling knee. However, studies suggest that engaging in joint-friendly physical activities can help ease your knee pains and improve your overall health.
Physical therapy can also significantly contribute to managing arthritis and relieving its symptoms. Its main goal is to help your body regain its normal mobility and function safely and effectively. Some of the main benefits you can get through physiotherapy and guided exercises include:
- Enhanced range of motion and flexibility
- Restored function of the affected knees
- Improved joint and muscle strength
- Reduced pain, swelling, and stiffness
- Maintaining overall health and fitness
Your physical therapist and orthopedic specialist can also work together to create a customized treatment plan that can help improve your condition. For example, they can prescribe painkilling medications while attending physical therapy sessions or recommend specific activity modifications.
- Assistive devices
Your orthopedic specialist may also recommend using specific assistive devices that can help ease your pain and prevent the worsening of your condition. This includes using a cane or walker, wearing a knee sleeve, or using shock-absorbing shoes.
All of these can help provide stability and allow you to move without putting too much pressure on the affected knee.
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol and Advil are usually the first treatment option to ease symptoms of arthritis. But if they fail to do their job, your doctor can prescribe you a more potent type of medication and dosage. Some examples include:
- NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug
- DMARDs or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs
- An opioid drug like Tramadol
On top of painkilling and anti-inflammatory drugs, your physician may also require you to take dietary supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.
- Therapeutic knee injections
When OTC and other oral medications do not work anymore, your orthopedic doctor can prescribe therapeutic knee injections. These are medications (hydrocortisone) directly injected into the affected knee joint to ease severe pain and inflammation. Once injected, the drug usually brings immediate relief that lasts for several months.
Another injectable that your doctor may prescribe is a viscosupplementation drug called hyaluronic acid injection. It relieves knee pain in arthritis by acting as a lubricant and shock absorber of the knee joints.
- Knee arthroscopy
When conservative methods fail to relieve your pain, doctors usually resort to surgical treatment options like knee arthroscopy.
Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose and treat several knee problems, such as arthritis. It involves creating a small incision to access the knee joint and then using thin, specialized tools to repair the damages.
Arthroscopic procedures allow physicians to repair damaged cartilage surfaces, remove bone spurs, and mend the surrounding soft tissues using only a tiny cut on the skin. This type of technique allows patients to recover quickly with meager chances of complications.
- Knee replacement surgery
Your orthopedic surgeon may opt for knee replacement surgery when your body does not respond to other treatment options anymore.
A knee replacement surgery involves removing the damaged surfaces of the knee joint and then replacing them with metal implants. This can help relieve intense knee pain caused by severe arthritis and restore the patient’s normal mobility and function.
According to studies, 90% of patients who had undergone total knee replacement experience immediate relief and normal functionality that lasts for more than 15 years.
However, it’s important to remember that every procedure works differently for different people. So, there’s still a tiny possibility that knee surgery won’t solve your painful arthritis, especially if you do not seek the right physician for it.
Where to find the best Spring Hill orthopedic facility for knee replacement surgery?
Arthritis in the knee is not something that you should take likely. It’s important to get diagnosed immediately so you can get the proper treatment you need. Fortunately, our board-certified orthopedic specialist Dr. Imad Tarabishy is ready to help!
Dr. Tarabishy has specialized in treating various orthopedic problems一from carpal tunnel syndrome to meniscus tears一for over 30 years. He is passionate about providing the best orthopedic care and high-quality treatment services for his patients. This includes the following procedures:
- Knee arthroscopy
- knee replacement
- Iovera procedure
- Total joint replacement
- Carpal tunnel release
- Shoulder arthroscopy
- Meniscus tear treatment
- Mako robotic surgery
Contact us now to schedule a consultation and learn more about your treatment options!
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.