Our total joint program includes arthroscopic surgery, knee replacement, hip replacement and shoulder replacement. When damage from shoulder injuries, hip injuries or knee injuries is beyond simple repairs, we perform procedures to remove the damaged tissue and replace the involved joint. These procedures can now often be performed on an ambulatory basis, so you may be able to go home the same day.
Treatment Options for Knee Joint Arthritis
We offer a wide array of options for the treatment of arthritis involving the knee joint. After a thorough history, physical exam and X-ray evaluation, we typically categorize arthritis as mild, moderate or severe/advanced. Factors such as your age, weight/BMI and other medical conditions will help you and your physician or physician assistant determine the best treatment options for you. We typically discuss options that include both surgical and nonsurgical treatments.
Nonsurgical Treatment Options
Lifestyle changes: These include options such as activity modification, weight reduction, alterations in workout activities and strength training.
Physical therapy: Working with a physical therapist may help some patients. Physical therapy frequently focuses on gait training, modalities to decrease inflammation, range of motion exercises and strength training.
Braces and inserts: Knee braces can serve several purposes, including providing support, providing compression and helping to realign the arthritic joint. Similarly, inserts in the shoe can help realign the lower leg to help improve gait.
Supplements and medications: Multiple over-the-counter (OTC) supplements claim to help with arthritic symptoms. The typical medications used to treat arthritis are pain medicines such as acetaminophen/Tylenol®. Other pain medications include prescription tramadol and narcotic pain medications. We typically reserve narcotic pain medications for treatment of postoperative pain and not chronic arthritis symptoms. Another class of medications used to treat arthritis include NSAIDs. NSAIDs include OTC medications such as ibuprofen, Motrin® and Aleve®. There are multiple prescription-strength NSAIDs available, as well. Lastly, for acute arthritic flare-ups, we sometimes use a steroid such as prednisone in short, tapered doses.
Injection therapy: Injections for knee arthritis fall into three main categories: cortisone injections, hyaluronic acid injections and PRP treatment/stem cell therapy. Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory. It is typically injected with a small amount of a local anesthesia to try to decrease inflammation within the joint. Hyaluronic acid is sometimes referred to as a gel shot and it is often administered in a series of three injections. PRP treatment and stem cell therapy are sometimes referred to as biologic treatment options and involve using the body’s own cells to try to generate a healing response within the joint.
Nerve blocks: The nerve block procedure we are currently using is Iovera®. It is a procedure performed under local anesthesia to “freeze” three of the nerves that are known to cause pain associated with arthritis of the knee. This is a reversible nerve block procedure.
Surgical treatment options: The three surgical treatment options available for treatment of arthritis are arthroscopic, partial joint replacement and total joint replacement. The best surgical treatment option is based on many factors, including age, degree of arthritis, activity levels and any underlying medical problems.
Discover the latest and most effective care and treatment for all your orthopedic and sports medicine needs at G.O. Ortho. Call (315) 735-4496 or use our convenient Request an Appointment form. We help patients from New Hartford, Rome, Whitesboro, Clinton, Herkimer and nearby communities.