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How To Avoid Knee Replacement

Tip#8 Consider Taking Supplements For Joint Health

How to Avoid Knee Replacement | Rachel Frank MD, Orthopedic Surgeon | UCHealth

Many of my fellow athletes and friends swear by Glucosamine Sulfate Supplements. It is a widely used supplement that may ease pain in people with knee pain.

It can also be found in skin creams used to treat arthritis.; Glucosamine Sulfate is a natural sugar found in and around the fluids and tissues that cushion your knee.

When I first tried using the supplement, it was in the early stages of its popularity and people were raving about the success they had using it.

Unlike ibuprofen that acts relatively quickly, glucosamine supplements take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks to be effective. I am sorry to say that after several bottles of pills I was unable to notice any significant difference.

They didnt work for me but they may work for you.

If you are taking medicine make sure you consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

When One Should Go For A Tkr Or When Tkr Becomes A Necessity:

  • If the knees are so damaged that one has to consume pain killers on daily basis, functional activities have been reduced significantly so that normal walking for a short distance is difficult, legs or knees are deformed, normal alignment of knees has been disturbed e.g. bow legs and knock knees.All these factors are indicative of opting for a TKR.
  • There is a potential chance that a TKR may be required in future even after going through procedures like wedge osteotomy and UKR , so a genuine surgeon can only guide a patient whether to go for one of above stated surgeries or directly recommending for a TKR.Hence it is advised that whenever these symptoms begin, one should visit an orthopaedic surgeon in time who will guide in a better way without delaying the treatment and avoiding TKR if possible.

If You Have Osteoarthritis Take Care Of Your Knees To Avoid Surgery

If you have osteoarthritis, surgery is rarely a first resort. There are plenty of things you can do to avoid heading into the operating room. Take care of your knees with these solutions.

Weight loss.;For many, weight loss is a basic but crucial way to help avoid knee surgery. Shedding just 15 pounds can cut knee pain in half. And should you need arthritis knee surgery later, youll decrease your risk of complications and reduce strain on your knees, which will make your rehabilitation go more smoothly.

Physical activity. The health of your knees depends on movement. Strong muscles support the joint and relieve pressure. Movement keeps tissues within the joint flexible, lubricated and replenished with nutrients that help healing. If you end up having knee surgery, the rehab will be easier if you start strengthening muscles before surgery. Walking is a great way to keep your knees healthy and pain free. Learn more about why exercise is so important if you have arthritis and hope to avoid knee surgery, and get some great ideas for maintaining motivation, stretching, safe moves and more.

Braces. Prescribed by a doctor and fitted by a physical therapist, braces can improve the alignment of the knee, relieving pain.

Corticosteroid injections. Knee joint injections help reduce inflammation, which can alleviate pain without causing side effects associated with oral corticosteroids.

Also Check: Is Cycling Good For Arthritic Knees

Sports With High Impact Or Quickly Changing Directions

While recovering from knee replacement surgery, avoid participating in contact sports or sports that may lead to a sudden twisting or jerking of the knee. Some examples include:

  • soccer

. Its important to work with your orthopedic surgeon after surgery to build the best program possible.

Here are some examples of exercises that surgeons recommend at different stages of recovery.

Deadly Surgical Complications And Harmful Side Effects

Know How To Avoid Total Knee Replacement!

Here is a partial list of the potentially harmful side effects of knee replacement surgery according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons:

InfectionBlood clots Implant problems Continued pain Neurovascular injury

Infection may occur in the wound or deep around the prosthesis. It may happen while in the hospital or after you go home it may even occur years later.

Major or deep infections may require more surgery and removal of the prosthesis. And be warned, any infection in your body can spread to your joint replacement.

Blood clots in the leg veins are one of the most common complications of knee replacement surgery. These clots can be life-threatening if they break free and travel to your lungs.

Your orthopedic surgeon will outline a prevention program, which may include periodic elevation of your legs, lower leg exercises to increase circulation, support stockings, and medication to thin your blood.

Implant problems can occur after your surgery.

While its true that implant designs and materials, as well as surgical techniques, continue to advance, implant surfaces may wear down and the components may loosen.

Additionally, although an average of 115° of motion is generally anticipated after surgery, scarring of your knee can occur after surgery.

The scarring can limit your range of motion to well below what youre hoping for, particularly if you suffered from limited motion before surgery.

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Knee Replacement Alternatives To Consider

Crunching sounds as you climb stairs, chronic aching and swelling: Knee osteoarthritis is a real pain. If youre suffering with it, you may be considering surgery.

Getting a knee replacement is one approach, but you may not need surgery, at least not right away. ;And some patients cannot undergo knee replacement surgery for various reasons. Other people with knee pain are too young for a knee replacement the artificial knee is only likely to last 15 or 20 years, after which the person may need revision surgery.

There are several things you can try first, on your own or with a professionals help, that can help with knee pain and even delay the need for replacement, says Daniel Valaik, M.D., orthopaedic hip and knee specialist at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.

Arthritis doesnt go away, he explains. Of the thousands and thousands of patients Ive treated, Ive never seen anyones X-rays improve in terms of arthritis, unfortunately. But there are things you can do to lessen pain and stay more active.

When Its Time For Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee arthritis can get worse in spite of treatment. If youve tried these methods and are still dealing with pain, it might be time to discuss knee replacement with an experienced orthopaedic surgeon. Total knee replacement is a major procedure, but it can offer better quality of life and improved mobility that last for many years.

A total knee replacement is more of a resurfacing of the bones in the knee: the end of the femur , the top of the tibia and the inward facing surface of the patella, or kneecap. The surgeon removes the bony surfaces and replaces them with metal and plastic implants. The plastic serves the same purpose as the cartilage, helping the implants glide against each other smoothly.

Valaik notes that there are constant innovations in the field of knee replacement. For instance, more surgeons are using regional anesthesia for the procedure, which can mean a shorter hospital stay compared with when general anesthesia is used.

New multimodal pain approaches, surgical techniques and physical therapy after these surgeries are all improving a patients knee replacement experience, he says.

Hip and Knee Replacement at Johns Hopkins

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Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell knee therapy is becoming a popular alternative to knee replacement surgery. Through a method known as autologous transplantation, the cells are extracted from the patients bone marrow or fatty tissue, processed, and immediately injected into the damaged knee.

The procedure, performed within a single day, could provide the same results in a less traumatic way, without the risks of complications such as infection and blood clots. Many patients experience improvement within as little as one week.*

Some experts say that even most patients are able to return to normal activity following the procedure, which allows avoiding the painful and lengthy rehabilitation periods that are typically required after joint surgeries.

Forgetting You Have A New Knee

How To Avoid Knee Replacement Surgery

Once you have an artificial knee, you need to adjust to the fact that you now have a foreign particle in your body. Your new knee should not cause the pain that your old knee did. But it will never feel exactly like your old knee.;

Your pain is your biggest factor. As you adjust to your new knee, try to remember your old pain. The new knee will feel so much better as time goes on.;;

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What Is Knee Replacement Success

The best study to date performed on knee replacement is a 2015 RCT that compared knee replacement to physical therapy .; 100 patients with moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis were randomized to undergo total knee replacement, or, 12 weeks of conservative treatment including PT, exercises, and diet modification.; Here are the results.;

  • 3 in 4 patients in the physical therapy group decided not to get a knee replacement
  • About half of the knee replacement group reported some sort of serious complication
  • While the knee replacement group had better functional improvement than physical therapy in some tests, in others there was no difference
  • You needed to perform 6 knee replacements before one person reported that they had at least 15% better function.; This is called an NTT of 6.; NTT stands for the number needed to treat.;

To learn more about this study and what NTT is please click on the video below.;

You Lose Your Independence

For months after your surgery you will suffer from a major loss of independence. Some folks require long-term help to put underwear, pants and socks on every day.

Patients are often shocked at how greatly this loss of independence affects them.

The inability to care for yourself can be very embarrassing and demoralizing. Sometimes after surgery, patients withdraw from friends and family and even become depressed.

Think about it We strive our entire lives to have the freedom and independence to go and do what we want: Jump in the car and go visit your friend or walk up the steps to get to the movie theater or do anything wed like, whenever wed like

And in a day, a total knee replacement surgery takes that away from you, and you dont get it back for months.

And thats not even the worst part. A loss of independence will seem like a godsend if youre one of the many people who suffer

Also Check: Can You Get Arthritis In Your Knee

Alternatives To Total Knee Replacement Surgery For Elderly

There can be a lot of different factors causing knee pain for the elderly. Dr. Lox has frequently lectured on knee pain causes in the elderly.

The most common cause is knee arthritis or osteoarthritis,;which can be treated with knee stem cell therapy, which is one of few successful alternatives to knee replacement surgery for the elderly.

Genetics may also play a role in elderly knee pain. Our cells may be programmed to live longer or have predetermined life spans passed on by generations.

Not everyone just wants pain relief as they age. They want to life a more active lifestyle for as long as they can.

Try To Recover Using The Least Possible Pain Medicine

Avoid Knee Surgery

The first 7-10 days after surgery, you will be struggling with chemical pain induced by the trauma that your knee has undergone. ;Marines, and other really tough guys get humbled by this pain and you do yourself a grave disservice to try to muscle through this period. You will waste valuable time feeling poorly and will have limited success advancing your range of motion, the most improtant goal. This tactic will also ;ensure that you are;taking narcotic pain medication for a longer period.

However if you take your pain meds as prescribed, and work hard, you can be off narcotic pain medicine ;in two weeks or at least by the time you finish gaining back your range of motion. Gotta get the range then you can back off pain medicine.

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Despite The Obvious Benefits Weight Loss Is Difficult To Achieve

A May 2017 study lead by Alexandra Gersing, MD of the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the University of California, San Francisco concluded that overweight and obese people who lost a substantial amount of weight over a 48-month period showed significantly lower degeneration of their knee cartilage. The research was published in the medical journal Radiology.

This study was a continuation of Dr. Gersings work on the subject. In 2016 she lead a team of researchers who were able to suggest from findings that: weight loss has a protective effect on cartilage, which is detected in all compartments, and that a larger amount of weight loss is more beneficial in obese and overweight subjects in order to slow progression of cartilage matrix deterioration and worsening of clinical symptoms.

Exercising & Losing Weight

The first step toward repairing a damaged knee joint is to reduce the pain, stiffness, and swelling in order to prevent the loss of function.

Obesity has pronounced effects on joint stress. For every 10 pound weight gain, there is an associated increase in strain on joints, as much as 3 to 5 fold.

Conversely, weight loss will help with pressure on joints as well as have a beneficial effect on systemic diseases and inflammatory products. In addition, patients with high blood pressure or diabetes often reduce or eliminate their medications after weight loss.

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Lose Weight To Lessen Stress On Your Knees

Number one on Valaiks list of ways to reduce;knee pain;and delay knee replacement: reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.

Extra weight puts pressure on the knees and increases stress on the joint, increasing pain and making it hard to exercise, Valaik explains.;Research;compiled by the;Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center;confirms that carrying extra pounds raises your risk of developing knee arthritis and speeds up the destruction of cartilage that cushions the joint.

I know its not easy, he says, but losing weight really helps, whether youre dealing with arthritis in one or both knees. If you are overweight or obese, consulting with a nutritionist or a bariatric specialist may be the right place to start.

Exercises For Knee Pain

How to avoid a total knee replacement with a BioKnee

Exercise will always have the greatest effect.

The exercise doesnt have to be strenuous. In fact, when you are trying to help out an ailing joint, it shouldnt be.

Instead, increase your flexibility. Stretch. Give your joints more mobility, and better room to work.

For a knee, hug your leg in close to your body, and hold. Do that for each leg three times, 20 seconds each. Stretch out your thigh by holding your foot up against your backside, for the same number of repetitions and time.

For hips, crouch down with one leg outstretched to the side. Switch legs back and forth three times.

Strengthening the muscles around your joint helps as well, as they can help support your joint, and hold it in place. Lungestaking a large step forward with one foot, dropping low to the floor so your back knee nearly touches, then getting back upare a great way to make your entire leg stronger, hip and knees included.

Squats are wonderful as well. With your feet planted shoulder-width, lower your backside towards the floor like youre sitting, with the weight on the back of your feet, and then rise back up. Repeat for sixty seconds.

If you have a preferred way to exercise your legs, go for it. Just make sure you speak with a professional if you have any doubt about the safety of an exercise for your joint. You dont want extra stressyou want extra strength!

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Injections For Knee Pain

Valaik says theres good science behind cortisone shots and other injections, such as hyaluronic acid injections, that lubricate the inner workings of the knee and help relieve arthritis pain.

According to Valaik, there is less evidence supporting the benefits of other injectable substances, including platelet-rich plasma and concentrated bone marrow or stem cells, but further studies will reveal more about their efficacy in treating knee arthritis.

Injections can provide temporary relief typically a few months which can help you stay on your feet and postpone surgery, he says.

Reducing Body Mass Index Can Reduce Pain And Inflammation Related To Knee Osteoarthritis

The above research is a simple sampling of the debate in the medical community as to the benefit of losing weight before knee replacement. In our practice we want to help people avoid knee replacement through our various regenerative injection techniques and whole body wellness. This includes diet for weight loss and inflammation reduction.

The management of inflammation is a very important part of our practice. Not just knee inflammation, but chronic body wide inflammation.

Here is a December 2018 study which suggests that knee osteoarthritis patients should reduce their Body Mass Index with a high fiber diet and thereby reduce C-protein inflammatory markers. This come from researchers at Boston University School of Medicine.

In this study, the researchers wanted to examine the extent to which BMI and dietary fiber influenced the relationship between inflammation; and symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.

Who was in the study?

Men and women with or at risk of knee osteoarthritis

Two groups: Persons whose fiber intake was;more than 21 grams daily;were compared with those with;intakes were less than 21 grams daily;for the overall association with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.

The researchers found that dietary fiber or more than 21 grams daily helped reduce;body weight;and helped reduce inflammation as measured by C-reactive protein declines.

The conclusion? Reducing Body Mass Index can reduce pain and inflammation related to knee osteoarthritis

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