One option is to have a knee replacement, but you may not require surgery immediately. For various reasons, some individuals are unable to have knee replacement surgery. Other people with knee pain are too young for a knee replacement; the prosthetic knee will likely only last 15 to 20 years before requiring revision surgery.
You can try various things first, either on your own or with the help of a specialist, to alleviate knee discomfort and possibly postpone the need for knee replacement.
Arthritis doesn't go away, but there are ways to manage the discomfort and keep active.
Physical Therapy : Knee arthritis causes the knee joint to be painful and stiff. Physical therapy can help with this. A physical therapist can help you strengthen the muscles that support your knee while also reducing pain. To enhance blood flow to the knee, therapists can employ ice, heat, electrical nerve stimulation, and other treatments. Working with a licensed therapist is far more beneficial than self-help.
Medications : While doctors usually strive to restrict the number of treatments they give, a few medicines for knee arthritis are effective. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can help relieve the pain, swelling, and stiffness of knee arthritis. These are widely available, and most patients tolerate them well. Aside from NSAIDs, several vitamins have been shown to help alleviate the symptoms of knee arthritis. Glucosamine sulfate and hyaluronic acid are two of the most popular supplements for knee arthritis.
Injections : If drugs and therapy haven't relieved your knee arthritis pain, you'll probably need an injection. A corticosteroid injection is usually the first step, substantially reducing the inflammation, discomfort, and edema associated with knee arthritis. These are frequently successful and might endure for a long time. Hyaluronic acid injections may be recommended if cortisone fails to offer long-term relief. Hyaluronic acid lubricates the knee, moving more freely and painlessly.
Arthroscopic surgery : Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive knee surgery involving small incisions inserting a camera. The procedure can repair cartilage or meniscus injuries and remove bone or cartilage pieces from the knee. If you're experiencing symptoms like intense pain, catching, or locking, arthroscopic surgery might be a good alternative. Knee replacement surgery might be postponed or avoided using this procedure.
Osteotomy : Osteotomy is a surgical operation in which a cut is made in the shin or thigh bone to redistribute the strain away from the arthritic area of the knee. This is usually reserved for younger individuals who have only one side of the knee deformity or injury. Although osteotomy is a viable alternative to knee replacement surgery, it may make it more difficult for individuals to have a successful knee replacement later.
When Knee Replacement Surgery Is Necessary
Despite treatment, knee arthritis can deteriorate. If these treatments haven't helped and you're still in pain, it's time to talk to a qualified orthopedic surgeon about knee replacement. Although total knee replacement is a substantial treatment, it can provide a higher quality of life and increased mobility for many years.
The bottom of the femur, the top of the tibia (the thicker of the two bones in the shin), and the inward-facing surface of the patella, or kneecap, are all resurfaced during a total knee replacement. The bony surfaces are removed, and metal and plastic implants are used to replace them. The plastic acts similarly to cartilage in that it allows the implants to move freely against one another.
To begin, talk about the advantages and disadvantages:
The doctor will consider a knee replacement if you need to take increasing amounts of painkillers all of the time and all other choices have been exhausted. It's the most practical alternative when you're between 50 and 70 years old. However, you should not have severe diabetes, extremely high blood pressure, or any heart illness that could make aesthetic shock fatal. Several tests will be recommended to determine whether complete knee replacement is a viable option. After a decade, the knee replacement should still be adequate.
Your surgeon should evaluate all feasible options for knee replacement surgery before deciding on a treatment for knee arthritis. Then, you and your surgeon should work together to determine the best treatment options.