Osteoarthritis in the Knees
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and affects millions of people each year. It is the gradual wear and tear of the cartilage at the end of a person’s bones.
Osteoarthritis is caused by joint damage. This damage can accumulate over time, which is why age is one of the main causes of joint damage leading to osteoarthritis. The older you are, the more wear and tear you’ve had on your joints.
Other causes of joint damage include past injury, such as:
- torn cartilage
- dislocated joints
- ligament injuries
They also include joint malformation, obesity, and poor posture. Certain risk factors, such as family history and gender, also increases your risk of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint. However, the most commonly affected area is the knees.
The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- tenderness (discomfort when pressing on the area with your fingers)
As osteoarthritis becomes more advanced, the pain associated with it may become more intense. Over time, swelling in the joint and surrounding area may also occur.
Many patients who experience this pain try mild painkillers and physical therapy to get relief. However, sometimes that is not enough. Knee pain that is caused by osteoarthritis can now be treated with a non-surgical, drug-free solution.
Eastside Medical Group in Cleveland provides top quality treatment of knee osteoarthritis
Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Osteoarthritic Knees at Eastside Medical Group
When joint pain does not resolve in a reasonable amount of time with OTC medication and/or physical therapy, an injection of medication directly into the joint is a frequently performed procedure.
What is in a joint injection?
A joint injection typically contains a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid; other joint injections can include hyaluronic acid or biologics. The local anesthetic, similar to what you might receive at the dentist, provides early pain relief, while the steroid suppresses inflammation and decreases swelling for long-term pain relief.
In addition to treating joint pain, the injections are used as a diagnostic tool. The local anesthetic has a numbing effect on the joint, and the amount of immediate pain relief experienced will help confirm or rule out the joint as a source of pain.
How are joint injections administered?
A joint injection is used to treat inflammatory joint conditions such as arthritis, gout, bursitis, tendonitis, and osteoarthritis.
The injection is performed by using ultrasound to guide exactly where the needle needs to go into the affected joint and distributing an anti-inflammatory agent. The most common of these is a corticosteroid.
What can be expected after a joint injection?
After the injection, you may experience immediate but temporary pain relief from the local anesthetic.
Because steroids need a few days to deliver noticeable benefits, there is a chance of the pain returning or even worsening. If the pain worsens, it usually subsides within a day or two. Generally, it’s recommended that you take it easy the day of the procedure, but return to your usual activities the following day. You can ice down the injection site and take an over-the-counter NSAID, like ibuprofen, for pain relief.
Although joint injections do not change the underlying condition, they can break the cycle of pain and inflammation and allow time for exercise or physical therapy to strengthen muscles and get the joints moving again in order to decrease ongoing problems.
Joint Injections for Knee Pain available at Eastside Medical Group include the following:
Hyaluronic Acid Knee Injections
Hyaluronic Acid Injections are a joint fluid therapy that uses a solution consisting of all-natural, highly-purified sodium hyaluronan. This fluid is already found in the body and is a common component of connective tissues and fluids found in the joints of the knee.
Hyaluronic Acid Injections have been around since 1987 and are the most commonly used joint fluid therapy in the world. It has been used millions of times since its introduction and is very effective.
There are only a handful of minimal side effects that have been reported. These include joint pain, back pain, injection site pain, and headaches. No anaphylactic reactions have been observed in any patients.
Hyaluronic Acid joint therapy is injected once a week into the knee for three to five injections. After each injection, the patient should avoid vigorous activities such as jogging, tennis, heaving lifting, or standing for extended periods of time. After the injections have been completed, the patient should feel relief from the pain and discomfort caused by osteoarthritis.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections/PRFM
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been used since the 1970s in medicine for multiple purposes. The last decade has seen a tremendous focus on PRP applications in musculoskeletal medicine. The potential for PRP to promote tissue healing following injury or disease is attractive to many physicians, researchers, and patients alike.
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections administer concentrated platelets from the patient’s own blood into damaged cartilage and tendons to reduce pain and to aid in the healing process.
- PRP rebuilds these tissues and can be used for common tendon injuries, such as tennis elbow, and to repair cartilage due to osteoarthritis or other damage.
- PRP injections consist of extracting a blood sample, concentrating the platelets, and injecting them into injured areas of the body.
- PRP injections are sometimes performed in a series, but many patients only require one injection to see results.
We combine all of our knee therapy treatment plans with a combination of comprehensive exercises, chiropractic care, massage, and CORRECT knee bracing to achieve maximum results with our program!
To learn more about our Knee Pain Treatment Options, contact our team at Eastside Medical Group, located conveniently in Shaker Square.