A study conducted by the Commonwealth University of Virginia has found that many people with knee osteoarthritis have knee replacement surgery even when their symptoms are relatively minor or low grade. In other words, the surgery was not necessary.
Knee replacement surgery is a serious procedure that presents potentially life-threatening risks like blood clots and failure of the implant. It should not be your first option for treating knee ailments. Several noninvasive alternatives are effective for easing the pain of knee osteoarthritis or trauma. If you are contemplating knee replacement surgery, you should consider looking into the following:
This form of therapy involves the injection of a sugar solution like dextrose, phenol or glycerininto the knee to help relieve pain and stiffness, strengthen the tendons or ligaments that can hold the body’s structure more effectively. This type of treatment is not new; it has been around for 75 years and has proven effective for many patients. A study by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has found Prolotherapy to be beneficial for patients who suffer from mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis. In the study, patients received injections at intervals of four weeks. It was found that the patients who were given the injections saw improvements in the function of their knees when compared to those who were given saline or who received no injections.
Stem Cell Therapy
With Stem Cell Therapy the patient's own stem cells are harvested from their own fat tissue,in a different part of their body,and then injected back into the injured joint. The Stem cells enhance the body's own natural healing process and help regenerate damaged tissue and lower inflammation. The process is a minimally invasive procedure where patients can resume fairly normal activates after leaving the clinic. However, a 48hr recover period is often prescribed. The benefits of stem cell therapy far outweigh the risks associated with stem cell therapy, especially when compared to surgery.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet Rich Plasma therapy or PRP as it is commonly known is the process of injecting the patient's own platelets into their knee. The platelets are obtained by first drawing the patients’ blood, then spinning the blood in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the white blood cells. The Platelet Rich Plasma is then drawn off and injected into the injured area A study by the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York has shown that patients who were injected with PRP saw their pain diminish by as much as 56.2 percent over the first six months of the study. That result went up to 60 percent after a year; the patients’ ability to undertake daily living tasks improved by 46.8 percent at the six-month mark and 55.7 percent at a year.
Medical Ozone Therapy
Ozone is a soluble gas that consists of three oxygen atoms. It is used to treat a variety of ailments affecting joints, muscles and tendons. When it is injected into the joint capsule, ozone treatments can aid with the regeneration of cartilage, which is why it is effective for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. In many cases, pain is caused by low levels of oxygen, which may result in an accumulation of lactic acid; in these instances, the lactic acid is what causes the pain.
Aside from the risk of complications from medical ozone therapy, knee replacement surgery comes with a long recovery period. With some patients, it may take as long as a year for them to regain full use of the joint. Another fact to consider is that the prostheses may not last for the rest of the patient's life. They have a lifespan of between 10 and 20 years. If they fail, it will be necessary to have them replaced again. In comparison, the alternatives to knee replacement surgery listed above are relatively safe and minimally invasive.
As with any form of medical treatment, you should consult with your physician before embarking on any treatment plan. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be deemed accurate for the purposes of diagnosing your particular medical condition.