Knee pain is a common issue. Yet we don’t talk enough about how to prevent knee arthritis from progressing and what strategies to employee in order to avoid knee replacement surgery. Specifically I am discussing knee osteoarthritis, but some of the concepts are similar for tendinitis and ligament strains of the knee.
If you have osteoarthritis and want to avoid a knee replacement, there are a number of avenues to pursue. In attempting to maximize your nonsurgical options you need to aggressively make lifestyle changes. This involves nutritional and exercise adjustments. It may involve some medication and injectable treatments as well. But most of all, they require you to make a serious commitment to your health. There is not one magic pill or treatment that will remove pain. You really need to consider all of the following treatment options if you want to improve your knee pain, improve function, and avoid knee surgery.
1. Weight loss if overweight
2. Leg strengthening
3. Knee bracing may be beneficial.
4. Glucosamine chondroitin can help with pain relief in half of people who use it for arthritis.
5. Viscosupplementation injectable treatments for pain relief.
6. Regenerative treatments such as PRP and stem cells.
The above treatments are generally low risk. Anti-inflammatory medications and steroid injections have somewhat higher risks involved so I would recommend the above 6 options preferentially over anti-inflammatories and steroids.
The main emphasize here is that there are quite a few options for knee arthritis well in advance of surgery. You need to discuss with your physician all of these options to get the best potential outcome.