Best management often starts with the basic building blocks
While pain relief remains a primary objective, we use a multidisciplinary approach that aims to actively reduce progression of arthritis as well as improve symptoms. This is important as while advanced osteoarthritis is treated very successfully with a joint replacement, this is a last resort surgical option, and one that is delayed as much as reasonably possible. In addition, we have also known with a strong level of evidence for the last 10 years that knee arthroscopy neither improves pain long term, nor delays time to require a joint replacement. However, for those with early osteoarthritis and / or too young for a joint replacement there are successful non-surgical management options available to help manage your pain and improve function. This can include any combination of the following if suitable to your situation and needs:
- Exercise: Regular and appropriate activity is equal or superior to anti-inflammatory medication. A guided and structured approach may be recommended with one of our physiotherapists (link), exercise physiologist (link) or group classes.
- Weight loss: Loss of 5kg has been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of knee arthritis by a factor of up to 50%, and reducing body weight by 10% shown to decrease pain by 40%. Consultation with one of our dieticians may also be advisable (link).
- Analgesia: Natural therapies as well as various pharmaceutical options are available in our shop at SPARC. Discussion with your doctor (link) is suggested before commencing any medication.
- Supplementation: A range of supplements, including Glucosamine Sulphate and others are also available at our shop at SPARC.
- Podiatry: Relevant biomechanical adjustment can help to unload areas of arthritis and therefore reduce pain and improve function. A review with a podiatrist may be advisable (link).
- Braces: A range of modern and comfortable braces to deload the affected side and therefore reduce your pain are also available onsite at our shop facilities.
- Radiofrequency denervation: The nerves that supply sensation to the knee joint can also be partly targeted but a simple procedure that disables them temporarily. While sensation will return over the course of 1-2 years, this can provide substantial pain relief and better allow you to pursue your exercise and weight loss programs for long term results.
If not sufficient, or your arthritis warrants further intervention consideration of injectable options including cortisone, hyaluronic (gel) supplementation, and platelet rich plasma (PRP) can be further explored, as well as possible stem cell suitability within our clinical trial.
We look forward to seeing you soon and discussing these options to keep you healthy, happy, and active.