Knee joint pains are very common in old age but nowadays middle-aged people also are having knee joint pains frequently.
Knee joint pains are due to injury/degeneration of cartilage and as the thickness of the cartilage reduces patients will experience progressive pain. This condition is called osteoarthritis and graded from 1 – 4 depending on the level of degeneration.
It is important to know the grade of osteoarthritis for planning the treatment.
Based on the grade of OA (Osteo Arthritis) and patient symptoms of the patient, various treatment options are available now.
Major treatment options for Grade I include,
Lifestyle modifications like avoiding squatting, sitting cross-legged and stair climbing. Managing the weight and to maintaining Knee joint moments in the normal range, regular exercises like walking on a flat surface, cycling and swimming will be helpful.
Treatment option for Grade IV is total joint replacement (TKR). TKR is the most successful and long-lasting option which gives complete pain relief and restores functional mobility. After this operation people can walk, climb stairs and can participate in activities like cycling and swimming after proper training. Even though it is expensive and associated with complications related to any operation properly chosen patients and properly done surgery in a long-term will be a much cheaper option compared to regular medication and other treatment options which will give only temporary relief.
Previously for grade II and III most ortho patients were subjected to regular pain medication which would give side effects or early surgery due to lack of any other options. But now we can consider intra articular (Into the joints) injections like PRP, BMAC which will help in protecting the cartilage or regenerate the damaged cartilage thereby postponing or avoiding the operation. Due to the availability of these newer non-operative methods now the patient can get relief of symptoms for a long period of time before going for the operation.
The effectiveness of these procedures depends on choosing the right patient and the right time.
Consulting your doctor for these procedures would be the first step in the clear understanding of the reason, stage of osteoarthritis and pain in knee joints and finding out the most suitable treatment option will be easy.