There are many factors to consider when deciding the best treatment for your knee pain. You have options when it comes to reducing your knee pain and regaining your activity level. These decisions should be made with your doctor to ensure that you achieve your desired outcome.
In order to manage your pain, your doctor may want to try treating your arthritis with pain management treatments first.
These treatments include:
- Heat or cold treatments for short term pain relief and stiffness
- Medications, both over-the-counter and prescription to treat osteoarthritis
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen may help temporarily relieve pain
- Lifestyle modifications such as losing weight
- Low-impact exercise, like swimming, can help increase range of motion, flexibility and strength
- Physical or occupational therapy
Knee surgery may be the right option for you if non-surgical pain management treatments have not provided relief. There are different surgical approaches to discuss with your doctor.
Partial Knee Replacement
A Partial Knee Replacement is performed when one side of the joint is damaged, however the ligaments, the opposite side of the joint and the patella are still functioning properly. The implanted component is inserted on the damaged side of the joint only, allowing the unaffected part of the joint to stay intact. Additionally, the cruciate and collateral ligaments are preserved, maintaining joint stability. Requirements for a partial knee replacement may include: an intact ACL, no significant inflammation, no damage to the other compartments of the knee, calcification of cartilage or dislocation.
Total Knee Replacement
In a total knee replacement, several elements of the knee are damaged, but the collateral ligaments are still intact. A surface prosthesis is fixed onto one end of the femur. The shin bone is fitted with a base plate and a synthetic disc which acts as a gliding surface. The patella is sometimes replaced depending on the circumstance.