About 27 million people in the United States have a condition called osteoarthritis. This condition is a type of arthritis that affects the weight-bearing joints of the body. These body parts include the hips, spine, and also the knee. Osteoarthritis of the knee is caused by wear and tear of the knee joint. This wear and tear causes the cartilage in the joint to break down. This condition is very painful, which is why those who have it are in dire need of an effective form of treatment.
Here are three effective treatment options for osteoarthritis of the knee:
When suffering with pain from osteoarthritis of the knee, most doctors recommend trying non-invasive treatments first. This might include losing weight or taking over-the-counter pain relievers. If these types of treatment don't work, the next step is usually injections. The two types of injections used to treat osteoarthritis of the knee include the following options:
- Hyaluronic acid -- helps to restore normal levels of hyaluronic acid in the joint
- Corticosteroids -- reduces inflammation and relieves pain in the knee joint
In most cases, injections have to be repeated on a regular basis. For some, injections prove to be ineffective.
2. Knee Replacement Surgery
For some patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, surgical intervention is the only option. There are two primary types of knee surgery. These include the following:
- Total knee replacement
- Partial knee replacement
The primary difference between the two procedures is that a total knee replacement involves replacing all three compartments of the knee, which includes the inside, outside, and front of the knee. During partial replacement surgery, only the compartment that is causing pain and swelling gets replaced.
3. Stem Cell Therapy
For patients whose injections have failed to work but they don't want to go through invasive knee replacement surgery, there is one more option. Knee pain stem cell therapy has proven to be an effective form of treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee. Stem cells come from a human body, usually from fetal tissue or from bone marrow. Stem cells can turn into whatever type of cell the body needs.
When treating osteoarthritis of the knee, stem cells get injected into the knee as a way to regenerate lost cartilage. In most cases, the earlier stem cell therapy is used to replace lost cartilage, the better.
If you suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee, talk to your doctor to find out which of these three treatment options will provide the best results for you.