How To Identify The Culprit And Which Drugs Injections And Habits Will Bring You The Most Relief
En español | Oh, my aching knees! If that’s your daily refrain, whether you’re walking the dog, climbing stairs or just sleeping, you’re not alone.
For many, the culprit behind that nagging soreness is osteoarthritis, which affects an estimated 31 million Americans — quite often, in this particular joint — according to the Arthritis Association.
But there are other common causes of knee pain, stemming from the fact that knees are our largest, most complex joints. “Knee joints allow you to stand up straight, walk stairs and get up and down from sitting,” says Daniel Saris, an orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic and professor of orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Medical School. “But they are also the most difficult joint because they’re not stable. Hip joints and ankles are both pretty stable by themselves, but the knee is just three bones trying to be good friends, and they need muscles and ligaments for stability.”
Knee pain is not to be taken lightly. A Japanese study, published last year in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found a link between the onset of knee pain in people 65 or older and depression. And a recent study from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine Thurston Arthritis Research Center and Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that knee pain in men and women over age 45 correlated with higher rates of death.
Troubled By Knee Arthritis But Not Ready For Knee Replacement Here Are 5 Alternatives
Millions of Americans suffer from knee arthritis, which can cause pain, stiffness and a decrease in activity level and quality of life. Eventually, this often leads to knee replacement surgery, which remains the most effective treatment for permanent pain relief. However, knee replacement should be reserved as a last resort. There are several minimally invasive options you and your surgeon can try before committing to knee replacement surgery:
MAKING THE DECISION
New Arthritic Knee Pain Treatment Can Lessen Pain Without Surgery
- A nonsurgical, minimally invasive treatment effectively provides pain relief both immediately and in the long term.
- Patients usually go home the same day after a short post-operative observation after undergoing genicular artery embolization or GAE.
Arthritis is one of the leading causes of joint-related pain for people throughout the world. Nevertheless, there may be a promising nonsurgical procedure that might relieve pain for at least 12 months.
Researchers at UCLA Health have studied a nonsurgical and minimally invasive treatment option for arthritis that effectively provides pain relief both immediately and in the long term.
Through a technique called genicular artery embolization, or GAE, physicians can relieve arthritis pain in the knees within hours of the procedure.
Arthritis is pain and swelling in the body’s joints after cartilage becomes damaged from overuse. It causes stiffness, immobility, and discomfort, which typically worsens with age.
When cartilage gets worn down, inflammatory enzymes are released, causing joint pain.
And with more than 100 types of arthritis, it is one of the most common ailments affecting people.
Genicular artery embolization is an outpatient procedure designed to limit inflammatory enzymes. GAE takes approximately 1 to 2 hours to complete, and patients usually go home the same day after a short post-operative observation.
Alternative To Knee Replacement Surgery And Steroid Injections
A revolutionary, new, non-surgical treatment called Viscosupplementation Therapy is providing hope and relief for many knee pain sufferers.
Viscosupplementation therapy is a procedure involving the injection of gel-like substances into a joint to supplement the viscous properties of synovial fluid. This procedure has been shown to be 86% successful in alleviating pain associated with osteoarthritis and is covered by most major medical insurance providers and Medicare.
At Northeast Knee & Joint Insititute, we offer this minimally invasive procedure that requires no surgery, can provide immediate results, and has little to no recovery time.
Medicare Approved New Technology For Knee Arthritis Treatment
If you suffer with painful knee arthritis, this blog may be extremely important to you.
Here is why: If you are like most seniorsâ€¦ you worked hard your whole life. You sacrificed. You did without. You paid your dues. You may have even fought for your county.
Now itâ€™s time to focus on getting a little back. Itâ€™s time for YOU.
Itâ€™s time to take a step back and enjoy the life youâ€™ve worked so hard to build and get back to doing all the things you deserve.
But retirement came with one BIG PROBLEM you may have not anticipated. For many, the pain and agony of knee arthritis has destroyed their so-called â€œgolden yearsâ€?. Let me tell you two things that are abundantly clearâ€¦ it’s not fair and it’s not your fault!
And we know itâ€™s not the way you imagined life would be. Well thank goodnessâ€¦
Due to advances in medical technology and treatments, seniors right here in Winchester are now reducing pain, returning to the activities they loveâ€¦ and getting to live the REAL retirement dream.
For many, knee arthritis pain has already become a thing of the past!
One such medical advancement for chronic knee pain is called viscosupplementation. This exciting new option has already helped so many in the Winchester are for three very important reasons:
Harvard Health Ad Watch: A New Treatment For Knee Arthritis
The TV ad promises pain relief for knee osteoarthritis, the source of most of the 600,000 knee replacement surgeries performed in the US each year. A man in a bowling alley winces with pain. He nearly falls as he rolls a ball into the gutter.
“Knee acting up again?” asks his buddy, clearly concerned. When pain pills don’t seem to help, his buddy suggests a procedure called Coolief for knee osteoarthritis.
“I had it done six months ago,” says the bowling buddy. “And the best part is that it lasts up to one year.”
Treatments Targeting Inflammatory Mediators And Pathways
It is now commonly accepted that OA has an inflammatory component that might be more dominant in specific patient subgroups and joint tissues. The release of various pro-inflammatory mediators like prostaglandins, cytokines, and chemokines has been demonstrated in numerous pre-clinical OA animal models and in patients. Synovitis is a common feature of inflammatory OA, and technical progress in imaging technologies like ultrasound and MRI revealed synovitis in a large number of patients at different disease stages,. A plethora of triggers including aberrant mechanical forces, metabolic syndrome, increased age, and fragments of cartilage extracellular matrix or crystals might induce the release of these mediators from various responsive joint tissue cell types. A large number of recent review articles address cells and components of the innate immune system as the main drivers of OA inflammatory processes,. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and glucocorticoids are commonly used to treat OA but are not optimal owing to moderate effectiveness and serious side-effects in long-term use,.
Reason #3: Viscosupplementation Is Covered By Medicare
Medical care can be expensive, and sadly that cost often keeps seniors on a fixed income from getting the treatment they desperately need.
The good news is that the viscosupplementation treatments offered at Brain & Body are covered by Medicare!
This has allowed countless patients with knee pain right here in Winchester the opportunity to get the best state of the art care without draining their lifeâ€™s savings theyâ€™ve worked so hard for.
Thatâ€™s why we are offering a special knee pain consultation that is open to anyone in the region with knee pain who would like to see if the advanced medical procedures discussed here can help you.
This complimentary consultation is no obligation and allows the medical staff to determine if you are a candidate for this treatment.
Give us a call today at 540-678-1212 if you are interested to see if you qualify for this treatment. You deserve it and we’re here for you.
How Can We Help?
A Noninvasive Alternative For Painful Arthritic Knees
MONDAY, March 22, 2021 — For those who suffer painful arthritis in their aging knees, new research suggests a noninvasive treatment might deliver lasting relief.
Working with 40 patients who were tracked for a year, the investigators found the procedure led to benefits within days, with pain reduction improving over time.
Specifically, nearly 70% of patients ultimately achieved a 50% drop in pain by one year out. About 43% achieved a 75% reduction, a result that study author Dr. Siddharth Padia characterized as “essentially pain-free.”
“We have the potential to completely disrupt and change the way patients are treated for knee osteoarthritis,” said Padia, a professor of radiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Presenting the findings last week at a virtual meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology, Padia noted that “having arthritis is a very common problem resulting in pain and physical dysfunction.”
How common? According to Padia, roughly 650,000 Americans develop some form of osteoarthritis every year, with the knee being a particularly common trouble spot.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons explains that osteoarthritis involves the gradual degradation of knee cartilage, and it is the most common type of arthritis among knee arthritis patients, particularly among those 50 and up.
In fact, Padia stressed that osteoarthritis is a major cause of disability, affecting as much as 40% of all American adults.
Fda Approves New Treatment For Chronic Knee Pain
Marketed as “Coolief”, the procedure uses radio frequency to target and mute the nerves responsible for sending pain signals from the arthritic knee to the brain. Coolief doesn’t repair arthritis in the knee, but eases the pain, helping patients go back to activities without discomfort and fewer medications.
“What we’re changing is the wiring of the knee — so we’re taking away the pain signal and interrupting it,” Dr. Amin Sandeep, a pain specialist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago who performs the procedure, told NBC News.
One 2016 study compared Coolief to popular cortisone injections, with patients reporting greater, longer-lasting pain relief with the new treatment than injections. Coolief reduces pain for about to 6 to 12 months, depending on how fast the nerves in the knee regenerate.
Related: Common Knee Surgery May Not Help You
Osteoarthritis can affect any joint when the cartilage wears off over time, often striking big joints like the knee, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, nearly 10 million Americans had osteoarthritis of the knee in 2010.
The three current recommended approaches for knee arthritis pain are physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen, or the opioid painkiller tramadol.
Because she wasn’t eligible for a knee replacement she tried cortisone injections, physical therapy, medications — nothing relieved her pain.
Extracellular Vesicles Derived From Stem Cells
Our literature search shows that stem cells, specifically autologous stem cells derived from bone marrow and adipose tissue , are preferred over other cell types for regenerative strategies. However, there is doubt among surgeons and researchers about whether or not stem cells are really the optimal tool for regenerative therapy.
Reason #2: Pinpoint Accuracy Of The Injections
Our medical staff is helping hundreds of patients find relief from chronic knee pain by targeting injections with precision accuracy to insure optimal results.
We combine the lubricating viscosupplementation injections with advanced ultrasound guided imaging that allows us to watch your joints move in real time, helping to pinpoint your problem. This technology allows our medical staff to see inside the arthritic knee joint and deliver the cushioning gel medicine EXACTLY where it needs to be. The added benefit is that this also allows the procedure to be virtually painless.
Research has shown that if injections are performed into the knee joint without this type of image guidance that the injection might miss the right location up to 25% of the time. With the technology used at the Brain & Body Health Center, no expense has been spared to avoid total knee replacement surgery!
Protection Rest Ice Compression And Elevation
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation may help treat mild knee pain that results from a soft tissue injury, such as a sprain.
Protection refers to protecting the knee from further injury, for example, by taking a break from the activity that caused it.
Rest can reduce the risk of further injury and give tissues time to heal. However, stopping all movement is not advisable, as this can lead to stiffness and, in time, muscle weakness.
Ice can help reduce swelling and inflammation. It should be wrapped in a cloth and applied for 20 minutes several times on the first day of injury. Never put ice directly the skin, as this can lead to further damage.
Compression with a knee support, for example, can increase comfort levels. The support or bandage should be firm but not tight.
Elevation, or keeping the leg raised, will encourage circulation and reduce swelling. Ideally, the knee should be above the level of the heart.
When Should I Call The Doctor About Knee Pain
See your doctor right away if you have severe knee pain after a fall or accident, or if your knee is too painful or unstable to support your weight. You should also see your doctor if your knee is swollen or you can’t extend it all the way. Call your doctor if you have pain that keeps bothering you longer than a few days.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/04/2020.
How Do I Get Ready For Total Knee Replacement
Ask your provider how you should plan to get ready for your surgery.
Tell your provider about any medicines you are taking, including:
All prescription medicines
Over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin or ibuprofen
Herbs, vitamins, and other supplements
Ask if there are any medicines you should stop taking ahead of time, like blood thinners.
If you smoke, try to quit before your surgery.
If you are overweight, your provider may advise you to try to lose weight before your surgery.
Don’t eat or drink after midnight the night before your procedure.
You may want to make some changes to your house, to make your recovery smoother. This includes things like adding a handrail in your shower.
In some cases, your provider might want additional tests before you have your surgery. These might include:
X-rays, to get information about your hip
MRI, to get more detailed information about your hip
Electrocardiogram , to make sure your heart rhythm is normal
Follow any other instructions from your healthcare provider.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation 1
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is the use of electric currents – produced by a medical device – to stimulate nerves for therapeutic purposes.Electrodes are placed on the skin in the affected region then slow electrical pulses cause muscles to contract and relax, essentially mimicking passive exercise.While TENS ranks quite low on the recommendations list, some people with advanced knee arthritis have had success when combining TENS into their treatment plan for temporary pain relief.
What Procedures And Tests Diagnose Knee Pain
A health care professional will begin by asking questions related to the person’s general health and then specifically to the nature of the knee pain .
Next, an examination of the knee will be performed. This will include bending the knee through the full range of motion, checking for stability of the ligaments, and evaluating for any tenderness and swelling. It is often helpful to compare the results of the examination of the painful knee with the other knee. Frequently, this is all that is required to make a diagnosis and start treatment. In several research studies, it has been found that an experienced examiner is as reliable as X-ray examination.
Sometimes the doctor might want to do further studies such as the following tests.
Plain X-ray can establish fractures and degenerative changes of the knee.
MRI is used to evaluate the soft tissues of the knee for ligament tears or cartilage and muscle injuries.
If gout, arthritis, or other medical conditions are suspected, a health care professional might order blood tests.
Removal of joint fluid
What Natural Home Remedies Relieve Knee Pain
Over-the-counter pain medications can frequently alleviate the pain. If someone is taking these medications on a regular basis, he or she should see a health care professional to evaluate the knee pain for proper diagnosis and to avoid the potential side effects of chronic medication use.
The RICE mnemonic is often helpful, especially for minor injuries:
Rest: Rest the joint, and take a break from your usually activities involving the knee joint.
Ice: Applying ice can help with pain and inflammation.
Compress: A compression bandage can help prevent swelling and help knee alignment. It should not be tight and should be removed at night.
Elevate: Elevation can help with swelling and resting of the knee.
Metabolic Targets For Osteoarthritis Therapy
So, are there metabolic targets known that are suitable for OA therapy? Some experimental studies show that mTOR signaling pathways can activate autophagy, which might be an effective approach for treating OA. OA chondrocytes where AMP kinase has been removed exhibit increased catabolic responses to pro-inflammatory cytokines and biochemical injury. These effects are attenuated by molecules that activate AMPK, indicating that decreased AMPK activity is associated with cartilage degradation,. Possibly, AMPK-activating drugs such as methotrexate, metformin, and sodium salicylate might be good candidates to combat OA progression. A Taiwanese study examined whether or not the use of a COX-2 inhibitor with metformin in OA patients with T2DM was related to fewer joint replacement surgeries than the use of a COX-2 inhibitor only. At the end of a 10-year follow up period, fewer joint replacement surgeries seemed to be needed in the case group compared to the control group. This outcome may be attributed to the fact that a combination therapy decreases pro-inflammatory factors associated with OA progression much more than one without metformin therapy .
What Are The Risks Of Total Knee Replacement
Most people do very well with their minimally invasive total knee replacement. But as with any surgery, the procedure does carry some fairly rare risks. Possible complications of the surgery include:
Loosening of the components of the knee
Limited motion of the knee
There is also a very slight risk that the procedure might not relieve your pain. Your own risk of complications may vary according to your age and your other medical conditions. Ask your provider about the risks that most apply to you.
Johns Hopkins offers in-person educational sessions to help you prepare for knee replacement surgery. During your class, we’ll review important aspects of your care and what to expect before and after surgery. You will be able to ask questions and meet many of the staff who will be caring for you in the hospital.
New Treatment For Osteoarthritis Discovered
The National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder.
It is estimated that almost every person experiences symptoms of OA by the age of 70, but many people can start feeling joint pain associated with arthritis by middle age. Currently, the most common treatment for this disorder is over-the-counter pain medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . Unfortunately, these pills carry a variety of side effects such as stomach ulcers and internal bleeding. Since most patients take these medications daily to control their discomfort, researchers have been working to find alternative forms of pain relief.
A recent discovery has been made in the field OA treatment that may allow those who experience related pain symptoms to gain greater mobility in their joints. Chondroitin sulfate was found to significantly reduce pain and improve hand mobility in osteoarthritis patients. Studies have found that 20 to 30 percent of patients with OA have it in their hand, with the prevalence rising to 50 percent after age 60.
“Our findings show chondroitin sulfate is a safe and effective treatment for patients with hand OA,” concluded researcher Cem Gabay, M.D. “Alternative therapies, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , provide similar pain reducing effects, but with considerably more long-term toxicities.”
The Best Way To Relieve Knee Arthritis Pain
So what does this mean for you? If you have knee osteoarthritis and have not tried corticosteroid or hyaluronic acid injections to relieve your pain, you may want to ask your doctor if it’s right for you.
Another point to keep in mind is relieving the pain of a degenerating joint though medication—oral or injectable—does nothing to improve the condition of the joint. In fact, too many cortisone injections can actually harm the joint’s soft tissues, which is why your doctor will restrict how often you can receive them.
In order to improve the joint’s condition, the best method is to use the window of pain relief provided by medication to get going with a physical therapy or exercise program.
Lose Weight To Lessen Stress On Your Knees
Number one on Valaik’s list of ways to reduce knee pain and delay knee replacement: reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
Extra weight puts pressure on the knees and increases stress on the joint, increasing pain and making it hard to exercise, Valaik explains. Research compiled by the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center confirms that carrying extra pounds raises your risk of developing knee arthritis and speeds up the destruction of cartilage that cushions the joint.
“I know it’s not easy,” he says, “but losing weight really helps, whether you’re dealing with arthritis in one or both knees.” If you are overweight or obese, consulting with a nutritionist or a bariatric specialist may be the right place to start.
When Its Time For Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee arthritis can get worse in spite of treatment. If you’ve tried these methods and are still dealing with pain, it might be time to discuss knee replacement with an experienced orthopaedic surgeon. Total knee replacement is a major procedure, but it can offer better quality of life and improved mobility that last for many years.
A total knee replacement is more of a resurfacing of the bones in the knee: the end of the femur , the top of the tibia and the inward facing surface of the patella, or kneecap. The surgeon removes the bony surfaces and replaces them with metal and plastic implants. The plastic serves the same purpose as the cartilage, helping the implants glide against each other smoothly.
Valaik notes that there are constant innovations in the field of knee replacement. For instance, more surgeons are using regional anesthesia for the procedure, which can mean a shorter hospital stay compared with when general anesthesia is used.
“New multimodal pain approaches, surgical techniques and physical therapy after these surgeries are all improving a patients’ knee replacement experience,” he says.
Hip and Knee Replacement at Johns Hopkins
New Treatment Instantly Relieves Knee Pain
Many Americans feel hopeless when it comes to chronic knee pain. But a new, non-surgical option is offering relief
Whether you’re an athlete or a white-collar worker, most Americans have suffered minor to severe knee pain at some point, especially as they age— even everyday wear and tear can damage a healthy set of knees.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , nearly 1 in 2 people may develop symptomatic knee osteoarthritis by the age of 85.
While there are several types of treatments to help, such as physical therapy, surgery and medications, there are still no guarantees.
Essie Jarrett, 54, of Brooklyn, N.Y., has undergone knee surgery nine times to treat her chronic knee pain.
“I had surgery, but the pain, it wasn’t getting better, it was getting worse,” Jarrett told FoxNews.com. “And no matter what they tried on me, it didn’t work. Nothing worked.”
Frustrated with living a life in pain, Jarrett turned to Dr. Halland Chen, a knee specialist in New York City, who offered a new non-surgical treatment known as the iovera system.
“The iovera works in a very novel fashion. It actually harnesses the power of focus cold therapy,” Chen told FoxNews.com.
The iovera treatment uses a handheld device with nitrous oxide canisters to freeze short needle probes to negative 126 degrees. Once injected into the skin, the cold therapy kills away targeted sensory nerves around the knee– which prevents the nerve from sending pain signals.