Treatment of knee pain depends on the cause of the knee pain. For example, if knee pain is due to meniscal tear or fracture of bone it cannot be managed by medications, and if knee pain is due to gout, the uric acid level need to be controlled using medication. Many treatment modalities can be used for management of knee pain, depending on the cause (That is why the cause of knee pain need to be found correctly for optimal management), such as medications, injections, surgery, physiotherapy and even alternative medicine.
Medications for knee pain:
If your knee pain is due to rheumatoid arthritis, gout etc. your doctor will prescribe appropriate medications for management of such conditions. In such cases treating underlying cause/condition can reduce knee pain.
Injections for knee pain:
In some cases of knee pain, your doctor may recommend injection of medications directly to the joint space. Examples are,
- Corticosteroid injections: injecting corticosteroid directly into joint help reduce inflammation in arthritis that cause knee pain. Single injection can provide relief for several months. However, not all patient respond to such injections.
- Hyaluronic acid is sometimes injected directly into joint space. This act as lubricant and improve mobility and reduce friction between two surfaces of joint and reduce pain. A single such injection may provide result for 6 months.
- Platelet-rich-plasma: this contain various growth factors and help promote healing and reduce inflammation. Effective in young patients and in mild to moderate cases.
Surgery for knee pain:
Various types of surgical procedures are available depending on the type of problem and cause of the knee pain. Surgery may be required in cases of loose body, meniscal tear etc.
- Arthroscopy: this is done using an instrument known as arthroscope. This is best suited for removing loose bodies from joint space, repairing injured ligaments and torn meniscus.
- Partial knee replacement surgery: in this procedure, surgeon replaces the most damaged part of your knee joint with plastic or metal. This is less invasive procedure compare to total knee replacement.
- Total knee replacement surgery: in this procedure your whole knee is replaced with plastic, alloy and polymer parts. The lower end of thigh bone, knee cap and upper end of shin bone is replaced with artificial parts.
Physiotherapy for knee pain:
Physiotherapy is very useful in management of some cases of knee pain. Strengthening of muscle around knee joint with physiotherapy can make knee joint stable. Various physical therapy techniques are in use for knee pain management.
Alternative medicine for knee pain:
Various studies suggest that some products of alternative medicine can be beneficial for knee pain management, such as chondroitin, glucosamine etc. especially in case of knee pain due to osteoarthritis. Acupuncture is also helpful in managing knee pain due to osteoarthritis.
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