Are You Living With Persistent Knee Discomfort? Here Are Some Ways to Find Relief.

According to a study completed by The Lancet, osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis and is a leading cause of adult chronic pain and long-term disability. Osteoarthritis most commonly affects the hip, knee, and hand joints, but most joints can be involved. The study also claimed that by 2050, osteoarthritis of the knee will increase by 75%. With millions of Americans suffering from osteoarthritis, it’s important to know how to manage the pain.

When diagnosed with osteoarthritis in the knee, there are multiple options you can try for pain relief that don’t include surgery. These may include:

  • Bracing – a properly fitted knee brace may provide support and relief
  • Injections or infusions – Cortisone/steroid injections
  • Lifestyle modifications – such as weight loss and exercise
  • Pain or anti-inflammatory medications

When these options have been exhausted, and there is still knee pain that is affecting your lifestyle, it may be time to consider surgery.

“Indications for knee replacement surgery are primarily severe arthritis that negatively affects their daily function and quality of life, or collapse of the bone,” said Charles Taunt Jr., DO, an orthopedic surgeon with Michigan Orthopedic Center who performs surgery at McLaren Greater Lansing. “There are partial and total knee replacement surgeries depending on what the patient needs. Most patients will require total knee replacement.”

Thanks to many advancements in technology in medicine, including robotic-assisted surgery, recovery from a joint replacement surgery looks much different than it did 10 years ago.

“Most joint replacement surgeries are performed outpatient and the patient will go home the same or next day,” said Dr. Taunt. “Performing strengthening exercises, eating nutritious meals, and maintaining a healthy body weight before surgery are all ways to improve surgery outcomes and recovery.” 

On average, most patients can drive two weeks after surgery, and play golf or travel six weeks after surgery. If you work in an office, you may be able to return to work a few weeks after surgery; however, it may take up to 12 weeks after surgery to be ready to return to a heavy laboring job.

After surgery, most patients find they can get back to enjoying things they loved to do before osteoarthritis impacted their lives. However, there are some limitations to having a new knee joint. 

“We ask patients to avoid very high-impact activities such as heavy weightlifting and extreme sports,” said Dr. Taunt. “However, the vast majority of the time patients can do more after their knee replacement than they could with their worn-out knee.”

For the chance to learn more about treating the arthritic knee, join us on Tuesday, March 12, 6 p.m., for a Healthwise Physician Lecture presented by Charles Taunt, DO. Discover the full spectrum of treatments, including non-surgical methods and the latest advances in surgical care, tailored to address your unique needs. Click here to register to attend.

If you suffer from knee pain that won’t go away, it may be time to look at your options so you can get back to doing the things you love. Click here to learn more about orthopedic services provided at McLaren.