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Treatments for knee arthritis

Knee arthritis treatments

Once knee arthritis is diagnosed, many people ask themselves what kind of therapies are more suitable for this disease. Unfortunately many forms of therapy are not scientifically proven but they may be successful. Therapies such as acupuncture and magnetic pulse therapy are some examples of therapies, which in any case must be done by a qualified practitioner or specialist. Whatever therapy you decide to try, your doctor or healthcare provider must always be informed about it.

Acupuncture: This is an oriental therapy, which uses fine needles to stimulate specific body areas to relieve pain or temporarily numb an area. Although it is used in many parts of the world and evidence suggests that it can help ease the pain of arthritis, there are few scientific studies of its effectiveness. The most important aspect to take care of while looking for this therapy is that the acupuncturist is certified. Important attention must be paid specially to his/her sterilization practices.

Magnetic pulse therapy: This therapy does not hurt and works by applying a pulsed signal to the knee, which is placed in an electromagnetic field. This therapy as well as many other alternative therapies, must be scientifically studied and proven.

Further alternatives for knee arthritis

Some cases of knee arthritis require surgery specially when the pain is very intense and/or when disability in the patient is presented. The doctor or healthcare provider will diagnose your condition and recommend you to operate the knee. All surgeries carry a risk factor therefore it is important to consult the doctor about the possible risks of the given surgery. He/she will discuss the possible complications related to the different knee procedures before the operation and will help you so that you can cope with them in case they appear.

The different types of surgeries are:

Arthroscopy. This surgery is used to diagnose and treat joint problems. During arthroscopy, doctors use small incisions and thin instruments. Arthroscopic surgery is not often used to treat arthritis of the knee. In cases where osteoarthritis is accompanied by a degenerative meniscal tear, arthroscopic surgery may be recommended to treat the torn meniscus.

Cartilage grafting. This surgery is often chosen for younger patients presenting small areas of cartilage damage. While performing this kind of surgery, normal, healthy cartilage tissue may be taken from another part of the knee or from a tissue bank to fill a hole in the articular cartilage.

Synovectomy. This kind of surgery removes the joint lining damaged by rheumatoid arthritis so that the knee pain and swelling are reduced.

Osteotomy. In a knee osteotomy, either the tibia (also called „shinbone“) or femur (also known as „thighbone“) is cut and then reshaped to relieve pressure on the knee joint. Knee osteotomy is used when early-stage osteoarthritis is presented. In an early-stage osteoarthritis just one side of the knee joint has been damaged. By shifting your weight off the damaged side of the joint, an osteotomy can relieve pain and significantly improve function in your arthritic knee.

Arthroplasty: During this surgery a total or partial knee replacement is being done. Your doctor will remove the damaged cartilage and bone, and then position new metal or plastic joint surfaces to restore the function of your knee.

After any surgery for arthritis of the knee it is important to take time to recover. The rehabilitation will depend on the type of surgery performed. The doctor or healthcare provider may recommend physical therapy to help you regain strength in your knee and to restore range of motion. Depending on the procedure and your needs, you may need to wear a knee brace, or use crutches or a cane for a time.