Alternatives To Knee Surgery
Knee osteoarthritis is a painful and debilitating condition effecting many Australians over the age of 40. Depending on the severity of the arthritis, there are many alternatives available for those wishing to avoid knee joint replacement.
Maintaining an active lifestyle and being able to reduce pain as well as maintaining knee mobility are the key goals of most of our patients.
Prior to visiting an orthopedic surgeon to explore the option of knee replacement surgery, it is worthwhile considering non invasive options to reduce knee pain.
Hyaluronic Acid Injections
Hyaluronic Acid is found naturally in your cartilage and synovial fluid. Cartilage protects the ends of your bones and provides a cushion, and synovial fluid is found within your joints to keep them moving smoothly.
In an osteoarthritic joint, the cartilage breaks down and becomes thin; and your joint loses its ability to move smoothly.
Injections of hyaluronic acid into your knee joint by your doctor may improve joint protection and help reduce the pain caused by osteoarthritis.
Quadricep muscle strengthening can improve knee function and is a useful modality for all patients wishing to avoid surgery.
Having stronger muscles around your knee, will reduce strain and impact on your knee and help your knee joint move freely regardless of your age.
Our team of podiatrists are able to write you a treatment plan, and usually combine strengthening exercises with other therapies including orthotics, dry needling and shockwave therapy to treat advanced arthritis of your knee and restore mobility, enabling you to reduce body weight, and thus reduce pain around your knee joint.
Strong quadriceps, hip flexors and gluteal muscles all lead to less pain in your knee.
Orthotics therapy alters the pressures on your foot thereby altering your gait and providing pain relief.
Most patients don’t realise their knees directly impact the function of their foot and their hip. Knee pain will lead to gait abnormalities which will directly impact your feet and hips.
Correctly made custom orthotics that don’t over correct your foot position can offload pressures on your knee and provide an excellent alternative to knee replacement surgery.
Most patients who wish to maintain an active lifestyle, choose orthotic therapy to reduce joint damage.
Custom orthotics at Erica Dash Podiatry are able to off load your knee joint making walking more enjoyable and descending stairs less painful.
We use unique shock absorption materials to reduce unnecessary pressures on your knee joints. Using European technology our same day orthotics can be delivered within the hour with all the extra offloading for your knee joint included.
Same day orthotics will improve general health and enable you to begin to lose weight immediately. Don’t wait another day, book an appointment now.
Another effective treatment for those wishing to avoid knee replacement or even partial replacement is dry needling. Dry needling addresses muscle imbalances around the knee.
Dry Needling involves the insertion of a fine myofascial needle into a muscle trigger point (or knot) releasing the tension within the muscle and allowing it to lengthen. When the tension is released within muscles surrounding a joint, the joint relaxes and functions smoother and better. After the tension is released, the muscle is able to be stretched and effectively strengthened.
Dry Needling is effective at reducing swelling around the knee joint, so your knee joint will have improved mobility. Most patients experience immediate relief in symptoms, while others comment they feel better within a few days.
Weight loss will reduce the pressure on your painful knee joints. Weight loss is difficult to achieve if you are in pain. Dry needling corrects muscle imbalances and enables your knees to work better. If you are overweight, losing weight can help to reduce cartilage damage.
Dry needling is one of the alternatives to knee replacement surgery if your knee arthritis has not progressed and caused complete erosion of your joint.
Shockwave therapy is another of the non surgical treatments offered at Erica Dash Podiatry.
Shockwave therapy will increase blood flow to the affected area which stimulates the body’s natural healing response. The increased blood flow to the cartilage cells and release of proteins, can help to repair knee cartilage.
Following your shockwave therapy appointment your podiatrist will advise you to rest and take it easy for a few days. Shockwave therapy is effective at reducing swelling and in turn will restore mobility.
Losing weight will reduce strain on your knee and articular cartilage which will improve mobility.
Anti Inflammatory Drugs
Most people start with over the counter drugs for pain relief such as paracetomol or ibuprofen, or a combination of the two.
For more severe pain there are non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which your doctor may prescribe.
Shockwave is a great alternative to treatments such as dry needling if you’re needle phobic and not keen on dry needling. We also have effective treatment offers for kids.