3 Treatment Approaches To Delay A Knee Replacement

Posted on: 16 December 2018

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. The weight-bearing joints are frequently affected, which can lead to the need for a joint replacement. If you are experiencing severe osteoarthritis in your knee, there are different treatment approaches that may help you delay the need for a joint replacement.

Steroid Injections

Steroid injections are often used in people with osteoarthritis of the knee, especially when more conservative approaches are ineffective, such as the use of pain medications and physical therapy. Due to the risks associated with regular steroid injections, you and your doctor will need to weigh the risks against potential benefits. Two major concerns with injections are bone loss and necrosis of the bone. If you are trying to delay a knee replacement and develop any of these complications associated with steroid injections, the degeneration of your knee may be accelerated. Additionally, if the bone becomes necrotic or weakened, you may not have enough healthy bone remaining to support a replacement later.

Hyaluronic Acid Injections

Hyaluronic acid injections are a relatively new treatment for osteoarthritis in specific joints. These injections are referred to as "rooster comb" injections because the active ingredient is extracted from rooster combs. The hyaluronic acid helps cushion the joints and can slow further degeneration of the knee, reduce pain, and help with inflammation. Since the injection has a gel-like consistency, it naturally adds lubrication to the knee until the substance becomes absorbed by the body. People who are in need of a joint replacement, but may be too young or otherwise need to delay the procedure, might find these injections are effective at comfortably delaying surgery.

Stem Cell Therapy

Knee pain stem cell treatment is one of the newest approaches to improving knee degeneration and possibly delaying a joint replacement. The goal of stem cell therapy is to inject undifferentiated cells into the knee so they can become new cartilage. Since the major cause of osteoarthritis is degeneration of the cartilage, which allows the bones to rub against each other, rebuilding cartilage can prevent exacerbation of arthritis. Stem cell therapy occurs by harvesting your own cells for use. This prevents your body from rejecting a foreign substance, which would cause an immune response that could add to damage and can make stem cell therapy better tolerated than some other options. Since the treatment is new, it is difficult to determine the effectiveness. You may need multiple injections of stem cells to increase the chances of benefits.

Knee osteoarthritis can be especially problematic and cause significant mobility limitations and pain. Fortunately, people who need are approaching the need for a knee replacement due to osteoarthritis have more options.