Knee pain ranges from minor, occasional aches to severe and excruciating discomfort. This is commonly characterized by stiffness, inflammation, pain in cold weather, difficulty moving, and that bothersome feeling of a “grating” joint. Some people may experience it mildly and recover right away while others may find the need to cut back on their usual daily activities because of the recurring knee pain. Others may find themselves having to take pain medication to reduce physical discomfort. When such a stage is reached, the question is: “Shall I get surgery?”
Bergen County knee pain specialists advise exhausting all other available treatments before going for a knee replacement. Think of this: the knee carries most of the body’s weight and every day, that part which connects your upper and lower bones has to move. Now imagine that sensitive area cracked open for reconstruction. Unlike other parts of your body that can be left untouched or do not require much movement, your knee is used right after it’s healed so what are the chances that the implant stays in place?
About one-third of people over 50 have torn meniscus, a crescent-shaped cartilage disc that cushions the knee, likely caused by arthritis. For some, therapy didn’t work so they find themselves resorting to surgery. Researchers, however, found that those who continued with therapy had improved by as much as six months and one year later than those who were given arthroscopic surgery immediately. In a commentary, Rachel Buchbinder of Monash University in Melbourne said: “Nearly half a million knee surgeries for a torn meniscus are done each year in the U.S.. Therapy is a reasonable first strategy, with surgery reserved for the minority who don’t have improvement”.
In physical therapy, the doctor develops a program for patients to strengthen the muscles around the knee. This may include exercise, use of braces, splints, or canes or even weight loss to lessen the pressure on knee. To lessen pain and inflammation, WebMD suggests intake of over-the-counter drugs such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naproxen sodium).
There are also some medications that can be injected directly to the joint. For inflammation and pain relief that can last months, there’s Corticosteroid injections. When the knees wear out, it may be due to a significant decrease of the production of hyaluronan, a natural gel-like substance within the joint that serves as lubricant and shock absorber. Synvisc/Hyalgan injections can help boost hyaluronan for smoother joint movement. This is available in Paramus, NJ knee pain treatment centers such as MedWell Spine, OsteoArthritis & Neuropathy Center of New Jersey.
(Source: Do You really Need that Knee Surgery? Nydailynews.com)