Treatment Option #1: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs help block the production of inflammation-causing enzymes associated with osteoarthritis and this reduction in inflammation can decrease pain and stiffness within several days after NSAIDs are taken. NSAIDs come in over-the-counter and prescription strengths as well as oral and topical forms.
Treatment Option #2: Physical Therapy
An Orthopedic Specialist and physical therapist create a customized physical therapy program based on each patient’s unique lifestyle and goals. Exercises are formulated to improve knee strength, flexibility and range of motion. The progress is carefully monitored and therapy is adjusted accordingly to achieve maximum benefit.
Treatment Option #3: A Supportive Brace
A fitted brace can reduce the load placed on the knee when standing or walking which may lessen the amount of pain felt while weight bearing and walking. Many types of knee braces are available but an Orthopedic Specialist should help you determine if a brace is appropriate for you.
Treatment Option #4: Activity Modification
Activity modification is identifying and modifying activities that cause pain. Slowing down or stopping painful activities helps to reduce the inflammation and pain. Activity modification may be effective when combined with the above-mentioned treatment options.
Treatment Option #5: A Corticosteroid Injection
A corticosteroid and anaesthetic agent are carefully injected into the knee joint and pain relief typically may occur within 24-36 hours. Repeat injections may be performed every three months up to a maximum of 3 injections per knee per year. Corticosteroid Injections may help to decrease pain while other treatment options, such as Physical Therapy begin to work.
Severe knee osteoarthritis or knee osteoarthritis that does not respond to many months of nonsurgical treatment may require surgery.
Treatment Option #6: Viscosupplementation Injection
Viscosupplements contain hyaluronic acid—a natural substance found in the synovial fluid that surrounds and lubricates the knee joint. During viscosupplementation, the supplements, which come in a gel-like fluid, are administered via injection into the knee joint over a several week course. Because patients with knee arthritis have a lower-than-normal concentration of hyaluronic acid in their joint(s), viscosupplementation can increase their knee joint mobility and decrease their arthritis-related symptoms, such as stiffness and pain.
Treatment Option #7: A Total Knee Replacement
A Total Knee Replacement removes osteoarthritic bone and replaces it with metal and plastic components. After recovery, the knee should have improved mobility and less pain. Total Knee Replacement surgery is one of the most effective types of surgery for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee that has failed conservative treatment.
Scheduling An Appointment
Dr. Nicholas Alexander is Board Certified and Fellowship Trained and an expert in treating osteoarthritis of the knee. Please do not delay a diagnosis. Contact our office today to make an appointment!