Do you feel pain and swelling in your knees while climbing stairs? If yes, then there are some chances that you are suffering from a disease known as arthritis. You need to consult an orthopedic doctor to get relief from this pain. The doctor may advise you for knee replacement surgery if you have severe knee problems.
Knee replacement is a surgical procedure, in which your damaged knee part is replaced with an artificial knee. The artificial knee is expected to work for about 15 to 20 years depending on several factors. Apart from knee replacement surgery, you can try several other methods to treat your knee pain. But even after taking all the measures if your arthritis is not completely cured, then you must consult an orthopedic surgeon. Through this article, we will guide you about 8 alternatives to knee replacement surgery, which will help you to get relief from knee problems.
1. Lose weight to reduce the pressure on your knees –
The more your body weight, the more pressure and stress are on your knees and joints. Research done by the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center confirms that carrying extra pounds of weight can increase the risk of arthritis in your knees.
We know that losing weight is not easy, but weight-bearing exercises will help you a lot. You can also contact a nutritionist to work on your diet for losing weight.
2. Do low-impact exercises for strength and mobility –
Yes, low-impact exercises can be a great way to improve strength and mobility without putting unnecessary stress on your joints. Some examples of low-impact exercises that can be beneficial for your knees such as walking, yoga, pilates, swimming, bicycling, resistance band exercises and bodyweight exercises. These exercises are also helpful in promoting your overall health.
3. Ice and heat therapy –
Both ice and heat therapy can be beneficial for managing pain and promoting healing after knee replacement surgery. Ice therapy, also known as cryotherapy, may be helpful in reducing pain and swelling in the early stages of knee arthritis. You can use ice therapy by placing a cold pack or ice pack on your knee for 15-20 minutes at a time to ease your pain.
Heat therapy, known as thermotherapy, has been shown to increase blood flow to the knee and soothe muscles and joints. It is also helpful in providing relaxation to muscles. Heat can also help reduce stiffness and improve the range of motion. You can use heat therapy by applying a heating pad or warm towel to your knee for 15-20 minutes at a time several times a day.
It’s important to consult with a knee replacement surgeon or physical therapist before using ice or heat therapy to make sure it’s safe for you.
4. Use pain relievers and medicines with the doctor’s advice.
Medicines are the foremost treatment suggested to patients for arthritis. But the doctors do not recommend these painkillers and medicines to everyone as the painkillers lead to several other problems. The pain relievers are mostly non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Remember to consult with your orthopedic doctor before taking any painkillers as excessive consumption of painkillers can also lead to heart attack, kidney infection, stomach irritation, or ulcer. Doctors give these medicines to you after your full diagnosis by checking your physical health condition, and previous medical conditions, analyzing the problem you are facing and checking the imaging test reports.
5. Prolotherapy for knee pain –
Prolotherapy is a non-surgical procedure, in which knee pain is relieved by injection. The injections have cortisone shots and hyaluronic acid, which lubricate the inside of the knee to help relieve arthritis pain and ease movement but according to experts, the injections are not considered a long time solution for knee pain. The pain from injection goes away only for a short time, not permanently.
The injections are only suggested when the patient experiences extreme knee pain and they are not able to lift their leg even once. Injections are shown to reduce the immunity of a person when taken regularly. Always take your doctor’s consultation and ask them about your doubts and questions related to any problem.
6. Vitamin D and Calcium enriched diet –
Some doctors also suggest you some supplements containing Vitamin D and Calcium, if your knee pain is mild. They may also suggest certain food materials that have a high amount of Calcium and Vitamin D. Both elements helps in building bones and reducing the chances of further cartilage damage.
Calcium helps your muscles, bones and nerves work normally. Calcium helps in building and maintaining strong bones and reduces the chances of Osteoporosis and arthritis. Calcium can be obtained from cheese, milk, yogurt, sardines, salmon, almonds, etc. Vitamin D on the other hand helps to absorb calcium in the body and is essential for bone mineralization. The food source is oily fish, red meat, egg yolks, orange juice and oatmeal.
7. Braces –
Braces are a good way to relieve pain and ease the moment in the knee. The knee brace helps to place the knee in the proper position and reduces the pain in the patella. It is one of the best ways which helps to avoid knee replacement surgery. The orthopedic doctors also suggest using sticks and supports for walking.
Braces help to restore the mobility and function of the knee. The braces are generally suggested with a combined effect of diet, exercises, physiotherapy and medicines. Braces keep the knee area warm and help to reduce pain around the knee joint.
8. Arthroscopy surgery-
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery that has a small camera and instruments which is inserted inside a patient’s knee to diagnose and treat knee problems patients. Small 3 button-like holes are created on the patient’s knee and a camera is inserted through one hole which is connected to a screen through which the doctors see inside the knee to diagnose the patient’s problem.
After diagnosis, the other parts are inserted through the holes to treat the problem. The cartilage is generally stretched and tied with the help of sutures. Arthroscopy requires less time to recover and the patient is able to resume his daily activities again.
Some reasons to undergo Knee replacement surgery
All the above-mentioned methods are generally recommended to the patient in the early stages of arthritis but in the later stages of arthritis, knee replacement surgery is the only option to treat the patient. Here are some other signs that it may be time for knee replacement surgery:
- Limited mobility: If your knee pain is preventing you from carrying out everyday activities such as walking, climbing stairs, or getting in and out of a chair, knee replacement surgery may be an option.
- Chronic knee pain: If you are experiencing chronic knee pain that persists even after taking pain medication, it may be time to consider knee replacement surgery.
- No relief from other treatments: If you have tried other treatments such as physical therapy, medications, and injections, and they have not provided relief, knee replacement surgery may be a consideration.
If you are facing severe knee pain that doesn’t goes away with medication, consider booking an appointment with the best orthopedic doctors for your knee pain. You can consult with an orthopedic surgeon by booking a slot at Cure My Knee and get treated for your problem.