Knee and hip replacement surgery is not always the best course of treatment. In fact, this is often left as a last resort. With certain lifestyle changes and non-surgical treatments, you can avoid knee replacement surgery altogether. Below we look at some 10 ways you can avoid hip or knee replacement surgery.
1. Have a Healthy Body Weight
Remember that your knees hold all your weight and this means that for every pound you gain, you place unnecessary pressure on your already damaged knee. Ensuring that your body mass index is normal is essential in making sure that you do not have to undergo surgery.
The extra weight may lead to premature arthritis on your hips and knees. And also, the extra weight may make mild arthritis seem worse.
2. Exercise & Physical Therapy
The last thing a person with knee arthritis wants to hear is that they need to exercise, and this is because they are in a lot of pain. However, you need your thigh muscles to be able to provide enough strength for your knee, and this means strengthening them with exercise. When you develop your quadriceps muscles you reduce your chances of cartilage damage since the cartilage is well protected.
Exercise does not have to be intense, simple exercises such as cycling, swimming and Pilates will help strengthen your muscles and increase blood flow without putting much pressure on your knees. Walking also helps.
Physical therapy is very helpful as well. It can strengthen the muscles around the joint, thereby decreasing pressure on the painful joint itself.
3. Eat Well
You need to look for foods that provide the most value to your body. Junk food is rich with saturated fats which don’t do much to help your condition and you need to identify foods with anti-inflammatory properties. Stock up on your lean meats, fish such as salmon, berries, green leafy vegetables, turmeric and others.
There is some slight evidence that foods containing anti-oxidants may help reduce arthritis pain. And of course the less processed food that is eaten, the higher the chance of staying thin and having less stress through the arthritic joint.
4. Cortisone Injections
Cortisone injections are highly effective and if done correctly, they are quite safe. These injections help numb the pain and reduce inflammation, potentially for weeks to months at a time.
Steroid injections should only be done a few times a year. If done more often the concerns are that the joint can be damaged, blood sugars can be affected and the adrenal glands may end up not making enough natural cortisol.
5. Hyaluronic Acid Injections
Hyaluronic acid (HA) injections contain the same substance that exists in joint already, and can be effective in treating joint knee arthritis. HA helps reduce inflammation and because it is a natural lubricant, it gives the joints greater function and reduces the pain as well.
There is some evidence that it stimulates the hip or knee to make more cartilage as well. Studies have shown the pain relief is good to excellent in 65% of patients for 6 to 12 months.
6. Bone Marrow Stem Cell Injection
Also known as bone marrow concentration injection, this is a regenerative treatment that allows the body to heal naturally. Bone marrow stem cells are sourced from the patient’s hip bone and the treatment has limited side effects because these stem cells are the patient’s own. There are minimal risks of infection or rejection of treatment.
7. Platelet Rich Plasma Injection (PRP)
PRP injections are fairly new and just like the above bone marrow injections; this is a safe medical procedure. The treatment involves the use of concentrated platelets cells which are sourced from the patient’s blood. Platelets cells stimulate the body natural healing system.
Recent studies out of the Hospital for Special Surgery have shown excellent results for knee pain relief with osteoarthritis with a PRP injection.
Braces are used to help relieve pain and because they improve the alignment of the knee, they can be highly effective in restoring a patient’s mobility and reducing pain. For the hip, they are not helpful because of the bulk. But for the knee, they can take pressure off the arthritic side of the knee and reduce pain.
There are various prescription and over the counter drugs that could also help a knee arthritis patient avoid surgical treatment. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help ease the pain and these are used along with other forms of therapy such as physical exercise. For chronic pain, strong prescription drugs could be prescribed.
When it comes to narcotics, it’s best to use them in times of acute exacerbations.
10. Dietary Supplements
Dietary supplements can also be quite useful as they work to repair cartilage. Dietary supplements have been known to help reduce pain in patients suffering from moderate to severe knee arthritis.
With these 10 nonoperative treatment options, patients are often able to avoid or delay total joint replacement. Pain Management Doctors in Las Vegas are experts in these options and are great doctors for treatment prior to making a decision for surgery.
Innovative Pain Care has Double Board Certified Las Vegas pain management doctors that accept over 30 insurances at 2 locations. One pain clinic is in Las Vegas, while the other provides pain management Henderson NV trusts.
Call (702) 323-0553 for more information and scheduling today!