According to Bharat Bhise, when you start hearing crunching noises as you climb the stairs or chronic swelling and pain around your knees, you may think about knee replacement surgery. However, surgery is risky and young patients often have far better options. Let’s check out non-surgical treatment alternatives to knee surgery.
1. Knee pain injections
here are certain types of medications that can be injected around your knee to drastically reduce knee pain. Some of those medications are backed by thorough research while others need to be studied more.
For instance, hyaluronic acid or cortisone shots are known to lubricate the inner parts of the knee and reduce pain drastically. On the other hand, there are injectable substances like stem cells, concentrated bone marrow, and platelet-rich plasma that require more research.
However, it’s important to remember that working and thorough knee pain injections are a temporary solution. They provide you with relief for a few months. You can keep taking injections for a certain period and postpone your knee surgery.
2. Cartilage regeneration
Severe knee pain may be caused due to many reasons. If your bones aren’t degrading and there’s good bone alignment, you may opt for cartilage regeneration instead of swapping out the entire joint.
Modern science has numerous cartilage regeneration techniques, and an orthopedic surgeon would be able to suggest an option that’s best for you. However, not all of them are non-surgical.
For instance, Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation is a process where a sample of your cartilage cells is extracted from your knee, grown in a lab, and then surgically replaced. While it’s less risky compared to other procedures, it’s not exactly a non-surgical method of treatment.
3. Radiofrequency ablation
If the above methods don’t work out for you and can’t alleviate your knee pain, you may opt for radiofrequency ablation. In this process, the sensory nerves in your knee are destroyed in a non-invasive way so that your brain doesn’t get pain signals.
However, this isn’t a permanent fix. The nerves are going to grow back within 6 months to 2 years and the pain is going to come back again. So, it can only help you postpone your surgery.
4. Work out and lose weight
If you’re young enough and aren’t suffering from challenging bone conditions, then the best way to get rid of knee pain is to work out and lose weight. Losing weight helps to reduce stress on your knees and slows down the destruction of the cartilage that cushions the joint.
If regular workouts are too difficult and painful, you can try out low-impact exercises to strengthen your quads, hamstrings, and calf muscles. Strengthening your leg muscles helps to reduce a lot of stress on your knees and keeps them healthy for a longer time.
Bharat Bhise suggests that you try out all the non-surgical treatment methods mentioned above before considering knee replacement surgery. If you’re young, you may be able to strengthen your knee with regular workouts and avoid surgery.