Knee Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Pain Management

December 23, 2014

How You Can Manage Your Knee Arthritis Pain

Woman having knee pain in medical office

If you experience chronic knee arthritis pain, you might be wondering what is causing it and how you can treat it. Depending on the extent of the arthritic damage, you can manage your pain using non-invasive and surgical methods.

Your knee joint is a complex mechanism that normally supports your full body weight without difficulty or pain. Unfortunately, the cartilage surrounding your knee joint can break down over time, eliminating the supportive cushioning between the bones and nerves. The resulting knee arthritis pain can continue to worsen if you do not seek the proper treatments.

Symptoms of Knee Arthritis
Since the initial breakdown of cartilage often leads to further damage, it is important to consult a qualified physician as soon as you notice the symptoms developing. The main symptoms of arthritis in the knee include:

  • Dull, aching, shooting, or burning pain in and around the knee joint
  • Inflammation
  • Stiffness
  • Difficulty standing or walking

You might also notice an increase in frequency or severity of symptoms during periods of high humidity or cold weather.

Knee Pain Treatment Options
Non-Surgical Treatments
In order to restore mobility and help manage the pain in your knees, your physician will begin the treatment process by taking some x-rays of your knees to assess the severity of the cartilage wear.

If the damage is in the early stages, you can make some simple lifestyle changes to halt its progression. For example, losing excess weight, performing strengthening exercises, and wearing supportive braces can all help in managing your knee arthritis pain. You can also take supplements that support bone health and increase lubrication of the joints to reduce pain-causing friction.

If these options do not make a difference in your pain levels, if your doctor sees further cartilage damage on later scans, or if these methods simply stop relieving your pain, you may need to move on to treatments using medical intervention.

A detailed physical therapy program can increase joint flexibility and muscle strength and reduce pressure on your knee joint. If this is supplemented by pain-relieving steroid injections, you can find relief from your chronic knee arthritis pain.

Another treatment option is a procedure called viscosupplementation. In this procedure, a gel-like fluid called hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance found in joint fluid, is injected into the knee joint. This can lubricate your bones and act as a shock absorber to relieve knee pain.

Minimally Invasive Surgical Treatments
After managing your knee pain using non-invasive treatments without seeing lasting improvement, it might be time to discuss surgical interventions with your doctor. If the timing is right for you, you may need to have a knee joint repair procedure.

Orthopedic surgeons can perform minimally invasive knee joint repairs through a tiny incision to reduce recovery time and pain following the procedure. Throughout the surgery, a fiber optic camera is utilized to observe internal structures to allow the surgeon to carefully repair the affected ligaments, cartilage, and nerves.

Total Knee Replacement Surgery
During a knee replacement surgery, your surgeon will remove all of the damaged bone and cartilage structures to make way for an artificial joint implant. This knee implant is made from a mix of tough metal alloys, plastics, and polymers that prevent nerve impediment that could lead to pain or injury.

Scheduling Your Procedure
Contact Arkansas Surgical Hospital to learn more about your treatment options for your chronic knee arthritis pain. Whether you are interested in pain management procedures or surgical treatment, you can call (877) 918-7020 to schedule an appointment.

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