If you’re considering knee surgery or replacement, have you looked into any knee surgery alternatives? While some people may require knee surgery to alleviate pain caused by an injury or arthritis, many are better served by options that are not as intrusive. The truth is, knee replacement surgery is major surgery, and carries with it some serious risks, so it’s best to choose it only as a last resort, when you’ve exhausted all other knee surgery alternatives.
- Lifestyle changes can help you avoid knee surgery. Weight loss is one of the best ways to improve knee pain. The good news? Each pound you lose takes four pounds of pressure off your knee, so even a small loss can make a big difference. Exercise can help too; not only does assist in weight loss, but exercise builds muscle to help support your knees.
- Physical therapy is also among the least invasive knee surgery alternatives. With the help of a physical therapist, you can find an exercise regimen to reduce pain and strengthen your muscles. Physical therapists may recommend ice and/or heat, but they also have access to treatments like electrical nerve stimulation and other therapies that can help increase your cutaneous blood flow.
- Knee injections come in many forms.
- Hyaluronic acid lubricates the knee, acting as a shock absorber to help the cartilage and bone move more smoothly. This type of injection helps improve knee function and relieves pain.
- Steroid or Cortisone Injections can alleviate pain for several weeks.
- PRP injections use the patient’s own platelets to repair the knee. Concentrated platelets have been shown to stimulate growth factors and stem cells, repairing tissue in some cases, but also calming painful symptoms and reducing inflammation.
- Prolotherapy uses a dextrose solution. Injected into the ligament or tendon, this sugar mixture increases blood flow and delivers nutrients, stimulating knee tissue to repair itself
- Arthroscopic surgery is minimally invasive. Using a camera called an arthoscope, your surgeon can view and operate on the inside of your knee through a series of small incisions. This is a much less invasive procedure than traditional surgery, and you can typically go home the same day. Unfortunately, recent research also indicates that it may not be very effective.
At our clinic, we offer a variety of knee surgery alternatives, and our physical medicine experts can help you determine which one is right for you. We are committed to treating our patients as whole people, not just a collection of symptoms, so that we can help each patient along the path to optimal wellness. To learn how we can help you live a healthier life, visit our website or call today for your free consultation.