Viscosupplementation is an effective non-surgical treatment. In this treatment, the patient receives a course of injections into the joint to reduce pain. Orthopedic injectables, also known as viscosupplements, are usually made from hyaluronic acid, which is found naturally in synovial fluid. The treatment aims to mimic synovial fluid to effectively stop the joint bones from grinding against each other. These injectables are suitable for patients at any stage and can even help to prevent further damage to the joints.
The best treatment for arthritis depends on the individual patient. In some cases, changes in lifestyle may be the answer, while in other cases, medications can be effective in reducing pain. If regular painkillers do not work, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are another option.
Can osteoarthritis be treated without surgery?
As mentioned above, osteoarthritis, including osteoarthritis of the knee can be treated without surgery. Exercise, massage or physical therapy, and medications are nonsurgical treatments for knee pain. As of right now, viscosupplementation is 1 of the most effective nonsurgical treatments. Hyaluronic acid is injected into the joint. Hyaluronic acid naturally occurs in the synovial fluid, which is what lubricates the joints. Hyaluronic acid-based injectables work as a lubricant, enabling the bones to move smoothly without pain.
Can I avoid a knee replacement?
Depending on how severe your condition is, knee replacement surgery may be avoided by making lifestyle changes, receiving physical therapy, and through orthopedic injectables.
How to treat osteoarthritis in younger patients
Arthritis generally affects people over the age of 40. Significant loss in synovial fluid results in the breakdown of cartilage and a loss of joint function. People 40 years of age or younger who suspect they have arthritis should visit their doctor right away to ensure the joint does not sustain any more damage. Along with a diagnosis, patients will receive pain-relieving medicines and details about ways to prevent the arthritis from getting worse. Taking these precautions can drastically cut the chances of patients needing knee replacement surgery later in life. An orthopedic injectable may also be recommended.
While arthritis in the knees can be a painful and limiting condition, there are nonsurgical options available to manage it. Patients should discuss available options to help manage their condition and to prevent it from worsening.
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