Knee osteoarthritis is a disorder in the joint of the knee that occurs as a result of the collapse of the joint cartilage along with the underlying bone. It can affect all daily activities that involve moving, such as walking, or climbing stairs, or even sitting or lying down. Knee osteoarthritis can be treated through an orthopedic surgery for some relief, but it is always advised to try other methods of treatment first, since the consequences of a knee replacement surgery may pose potential hazards.
Alternate solutions to a surgery include:
Medications: This is the most common treatment applied to treat knee osteoarthritis. Medications may include acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. You may be prescribed stronger versions of the drug depending on the severity of damage and pain.
Ointments or creams: Ointments, creams or sprays are available at the stores to reduce pain. Strong versions of ointments and sprays are available which may be redeemed on prescriptions by a doctor.
Injecting medications: Your joint may be injected with medications for fast relief that usually lasts for several months. Hyaluronic acid may be injected into your joint to lubricate your joint and help it move smoothly. These injections may take a number of months to come into full action, but their impact may usually last up to 6 months or more.
Exercise and physical therapy: Physical exercise would help in strengthening the muscles of your knee.
Weight loss: Your doctor may suggest you to lose weight if you are overweight, since for every pound of weight gained, 3 pounds of pressure is applied on your knee.
Nutritional supplements: Your doctor may suggest you to take nutritional supplements such as glucosamine or chondroitin to ease out joint pain.
These treatment options would provide you sufficient relief to move comfortably. In case they do not give out expected results, or they become ineffective on you, or you develop intolerance towards them, your doctor may refer to a knee replacement surgery.
When to go for a knee surgery
• Natural treatments or other treatments didn’t work on you
• Your pain persists for a long time or keeps recurring
• You feel severe pain in your knee or a neck pain during and after exercising
• Medication or use of a cane aren’t as beneficial as it used to be initially
• You feel you are no longer as mobile as you used to be
• You experience stiffness of knee as you remain seated for a long time
• You feel pain in your knees during rainy weather
• The pain in your knee interrupts you in your sleep
• You feel restrictions in moving your knees
• You often find your knee stiff or swollen
• You find difficulty in moving, walking or climbing stairs
• You find difficulty in getting in or getting up from chairs or bath tubs
• You experience stiffness of knee early in the morning, which may last for less than 30 minutes
When not to go for a knee surgery
• When you got other infections such as a gum infection
• When you are suffering from any serious medical issues, such as a heart or lung disease
No matter how much pain you go through, it is always advisable to opt for the alternate treatments first. Going for a replacement surgery should always be your last option. For further queries about orthopedic surgery or related issues such as spine surgery, you may consult a doctor before taking any immediate decision.