Knee surgery can be daunting and painful, with high risks and long recovery times. However, several alternatives to traditional knee surgery offer faster healing times and dramatic improvements in pain and function. This article will explore some of the most common alternatives to knee surgery, including physical therapy, steroid injections, and regenerative treatments.
Physical Therapy as an Alternative to Knee Surgery
Doctors often prescribe physical therapy as an initial treatment for specific knee injuries. A physical therapist can design a daily exercise program that includes stretching, strengthening exercises, massage, electrical stimulation, and even ultrasound treatments. These exercises can be used to reduce inflammation and swelling in the area while improving coordination and strength in the joint region.
Risks of Physical Therapy for the Knee
Physical therapy for the knee can have risks if not performed correctly. It is essential to ensure you are working with a licensed and experienced physical therapist who is knowledgeable about your specific condition and any other underlying medical history. Some risks include increased pain, swelling, muscle strain or tear, ligament or tendon damage, and joint instability. It is also important to follow the physical therapist’s instructions closely and not overdo it with exercises for which you are unprepared. You should utilize appropriate safety precautions, such as wearing proper protective gear, focusing on good body mechanics, and avoiding any unnecessary strain or impact on the knee joint. Taking these steps can help ensure a safe and successful physical therapy regimen.
Rewards of Physical Therapy for the Knee
Physical Therapy is a good choice for treating knee issues since it can help promote healing, reduce pain and improve mobility when performed properly. Regular Physical Therapy sessions are designed to strengthen the muscles around the knee joint, increasing stability and helping to prevent further injury. Additionally, physical therapists may use various modalities, such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation, to reduce inflammation and speed healing. Ultimately, physical therapy yields long-term benefits as it helps to optimize knee joint function and reduce the risk of future injury. With regular physical therapy sessions and adherence to a strengthening program, patients can regain their mobility and avoid further pain or damage in the future.
At Orthobiogen, we work with the most highly trained orthopedic specialty-trained physical therapists in Oklahoma. Our physicians routinely work with our physical therapy colleagues to produce the best patient outcomes.
Steroid Injections as an Alternative to Knee Surgery
Corticosteroid injections are commonly used as an alternative to knee surgery for treating inflamed joints due to either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. These injections work by reducing inflammation in the joint area and providing pain relief for patients without any significant side effects or downtime associated with traditional surgeries. Additionally, hyaluronic acid injections are also sometimes used to provide lasting lubrication in the joint space, which may improve mobility while decreasing pain significantly over time.
Risks of Steroid Injections for the Knee
Knee steroid injections, also known as corticosteroid injections, may provide short-term relief for severe knee pain. However, these injections do come with some risks. Common side effects include increased blood sugar levels and fluid retention. They can also weaken the protective cartilage that helps cushion the joint from damage and wear and tear. Medical research has demonstrated that repeat knee steroid injections decrease knee cartilage over time, increasing the likelihood of needing knee surgery in the future. In addition, because steroid use suppresses the immune system, there may be an increased risk of infection. Finally, infections already present in the knee may worsen with steroid injections. Therefore, anyone considering receiving a knee injection should discuss these risks with their healthcare provider before proceeding. It is crucial to weigh the potential benefits and risks associated with any medical procedure.
Rewards of Steroid Injections for the Knee
Steroid injections for the knee can provide short-term reduction of pain and symptoms of inflammation. By decreasing the inflammatory response to deteriorating cartilage and other tissue damage, steroid injections may reduce pain enough to allow short-lived improvement in mobility. In addition, limited reduction of symptoms such as stiffness, swelling, and tenderness can also be beneficial. Steroids can also be used in conjunction with physical therapy, allowing for a more comprehensive approach to recovery. However, it is important to note that steroid injections are not a cure-all, and the effects may be temporary. Thus, speaking with a healthcare professional before pursuing this treatment is essential.
Regenerative Therapies as an Alternative to Knee Surgery
Regenerative therapies are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative medicine for knee injuries. This therapy involves injecting adult stem cells directly into the injured site to promote new tissue growth and help speed up the healing process. It’s important to note that these treatments are still considered experimental but have been showing promising clinical trial results.
Risks of Regenerative Therapy for the Knee
Regenerative therapies, treatments, and injections for the knee may come with certain risks. Depending on the type of treatment involved, side effects such as short-term discomfort or swelling at the injection site are possible. There is also a potential risk of infection any time a procedure penetrates the skin; however, the risk is dramatically lower than all surgical treatment alternatives.
Patients should also inform their doctor if they have had prior treatments that may have influenced the results of their current procedure. By thoroughly understanding the associated risks, patients can make an informed decision about regenerative therapies, treatments, and injections for the knee.
Overall, regenerative treatments for the knee carry an extremely low risk of complications and are well tolerated by virtually any patient seeking to avoid knee surgery.
Rewards of Regenerative Therapy for the Knee
Regenerative therapies, treatments, and injections are an effective way to help improve knee function and stop nagging knee pain. They reduce pain and inflammation in the joint and can also aid in tissue repair by supporting damaged cartilage with healthy cells. This helps limit further degeneration of the knee joint, potentially eliminating the need for more invasive surgeries such as knee replacement. Moreover, these treatments have been found to improve the range of motion and help restore mobility in the joint, allowing patients to return to activities they once enjoyed without pain or discomfort. Furthermore, regenerative therapies have an excellent safety profile with minimal risks, as discussed previously. For these reasons, regenerative therapies are an attractive option for those looking to improve the health of their knees and avoid higher-risk procedures and long-term recovery necessary with traditional knee surgery.
While each of these alternatives has its advantages and disadvantages depending on an individual’s condition/injury, they all represent potential paths toward helping alleviate pain from knee injuries without resorting to surgery as an immediate option. As technology has advanced, many more surgery-free knee treatment options are now available, which can benefit patients suffering from knee pain and knee injury in Oklahoma.
Contact us today to find out if you are a candidate for the most advanced treatment alternatives to knee surgery, and get back to the activities you enjoy most. Our Board Certified Physicians and Regenerative Specialists look forward to the opportunity to help you live the life you deserve!