Undergoing surgery, especially if you’re advanced in years, is a risky undertaking. Between the risk of infection and the chance of recovery going poorly, it feels like you’re in a lose-lose situation. That’s why, when faced with knee replacement surgery, many people look for possible alternatives. But, with so many alternatives available, how do you know which option is best for you?
Who requires knee replacement surgery?
Knee replacement surgery is a procedure suggested for people who have osteoarthritis, knee deformities, or chronic knee damage. These people typically have trouble climbing stairs, walking for long periods of time, and getting in and out of chairs. In addition to restricting movement, the knee can also become inflamed, causing a lot of pain. That’s why the main reason to have knee replacement surgery is to ease pain and disability caused by arthritis or other joint problems — all the while preserving movement.
6 Alternatives to Knee Replacement Surgery
Arthritis can weaken your joints over time, making it progressively more difficult to move around. That’s why it’s important to strengthen the muscles around the knee. Not only does this make movement easier it also improves flexibility. Just make sure that you avoid any exercises that require twisting the knee or running. Whether you’re working out alone or in a group, good exercises for your knees include:
- Strengthening exercises
- Neuromuscular training
- Water exercise
- Tai chi
2. Weight loss
Your knees are a foundational part of your body structure. They keep you supported and are crucial for everyday activities. But, when you’re carrying extra weight, this can put a strain on your knee and even worsen your condition. Healthy weight loss can help alleviate pressure on your knees. Talk to your doctor about implementing a weight loss plan that works for your dietary needs.
3. Walking Aids
Walking aids are designed to relieve pressure on your knees by redirecting that pressure to something else. Some walking aids provide support or compression directly to your knee to absorb the impact of walking. They can also provide better stability. Common examples of walking aids for knees include:
- Knee brace
4. Shoe Inserts
Similar to how knee braces can absorb impact while walking, shoe inserts can be slipped into your favorite pair of shoes to do the same. However, inserts don’t work well for everyone. Some studies find that shoe inserts, like lateral wedge shoe inserts, don’t relieve arthritic pain, but they can protect the knee from strain and shock. Common insert brands include:
- Dr. Scholls
Medicine that provides pain relief or targets swelling can help alleviate knee pain and make each day more manageable. Any over-the-counter medication that targets inflammation will help alleviate knee pain. However, if your pain is from arthritis, you should work with your doctor to determine an appropriate treatment plan — as taking too many nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can have harmful side effects.
6. Stem Cell Therapy
While most of these suggestions provide temporary relief for knee pain sufferers, stem cell therapy offers a longer-term solution. This treatment uses stem cells from your own body to target inflammation and repair cells — including muscle tissue. Stem cells replicate healthy cells and replace old or damaged cells. This improves the quality of your cartilage and reduces inflammation, thus alleviating your pain.
Contact Innovations Medical for Stem Cell Therapy
If you’re looking to avoid knee replacement surgery, Innovations Medical is here for you. Our skilled professionals help you decide which treatment is best for you – keeping you informed and confident in the next steps. We’ve been helping our patients look and feel their best since 2005, and even our most advanced procedures are often minimally invasive.