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Knee Replacements

My knee hurts - what can I do? By Dr. Godfrey Araujo

When your knee hurts and you have been diagnosed as having arthritis of the joint, the options of treatment are normally presented as to the possibilities of doing from limited intervention, injections to the knee or surgery. A lot of us, including me, wish to prolong the life of our knees before facing the knife. So for this band of knee pain sufferers here is a possible set of solutions:

1. Reduce the wear and tear on the knee

Lose the weight,avoid high impact activities, strengthen the quadriceps and hamstring muscles with low impact resistance exercises. Use NSAIDs (painkillers) sparingly when pain is severe or when a lot of walking/standing activity will be done.

2. Consider injections into the knee joint

There are 3 types a) Cortisone type injections- usually done as a one-off injection in severe exacerbations of knee arthrosis i.e. when it is swollen and painful after a flare up and b) Hyaluronic Acid e.g. Synvisc which is a synthetic copy of normal joint fluid that acts as a sort of gel which helps the lubrication of the knee and can ease the pain for up to 6 months and sometimes longer, and c) PRP – Platelet Rich Plasma- which is a form of adult stem cell therapy distilled from your own blood and utilizes your body’s own healing mechanism to rehabilitate the intra-articular environment of your knee and help it heal- it is normally done twice a year.

3. Have an opinion on altering the alignment of your knee:

If you have knock-knees or bow-legs, the alignment abnormality may be leading to increased wear of the articular cartilage in one or more compartments of your knee. A proper orthopaedic assessment with long leg X-rays will help in deciding if this is a viable option for you and may help avoid knee replacement surgery. Your team of Orthopaedic Surgeons at Fracture & Orthopaedic Clinic can help you decide which, if any, of the above options can be used in your case. Call today for an appointment.