5 Alternatives to Total Knee Replacement Surgery

5 Alternatives to Total Knee Replacement Surgery

According to the Arthritis Foundation, 1 in 2 adults will develop symptoms of knee osteoarthritis — a breakdown of cartilage or the cushions between bones — during their lives. Osteoarthritis causes pain, swelling and stiffness, and affects people of all ages.

If you experience osteoarthritis or have severe knee pain or long-lasting swelling or inflammation that limits your activities, doctors may recommend total knee replacement surgery.

Deciding when you need knee surgery is a difficult decision. Knee surgery can be costly, create limitations and even increase your risk of a heart attack. For those facing these issues, there are alternatives.

Physical therapy and knee braces can help relieve pain, but as medicine advances and new techniques are discovered, it’s important to be aware of additional pain management interventions that can serve as alternatives to total knee replacement surgery.* In simple and easy terms, learn about some of the alternatives to total knee replacement surgery below:

1. Knee viscosupplementation

In simple terms

Knee viscosupplementation is an injection of lubricants to help joints work more smoothly, relieving pain and stiffness.*

Who is it for?

Patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee. If you have more severe degenerative changes, consider one of the other treatments below, such as knee radiofrequency ablation. In Arizona, Novocur is the only provider of RFA to date.

How does it work?

Your joints are surrounded with fluids to keep them lubricated and work smoothly. If a person has osteoarthritis, this fluid becomes thinner. Knee viscosupplementation is an injection of hyaluronan, a substance that occurs naturally in the fluid surrounding joints, and is quick and virtually painless. It often relieves pain and stiffness and is safe and effective.*

How long does it last?

This treatment offers pain relief for up to six months.*

2. Radiofrequency ablation

In simple terms

Radiofrequency ablation zaps the nerves surrounding your knees with heat to make them temporarily blind to pain.*

Who is it for?

Patients with moderate to severe degenerative or osteoarthritis of the knee. If you are seeking an alternative to knee replacement surgery or have tried other treatments without success, consider giving RFA a try.

How does it work?

A person experiences pain when nerves send signals to their brain saying. RFA is a quick procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to heat and alter nerves to create a nerve block. This treatment has been used successfully to treat spinal pain in the past, but Novocur is one of the first pain centers in the nation to be offering this technology to treat chronic knee pain.*

How long does it last?

Pain relief typically lasts 6-18 months.* After time, the heated nerves recover and begin transmitting pain signals again, but patients can simply return for another 90-second treatment for another 6-18 months of pain relief.*

3. Amniotic allograft injection

In simple terms

Yep, that amniotic. An amniotic allograft injection is a product that consists of all the good stuff that helps babies grow and develop to facilitate soft tissue repair and reconstruction.

Who is it for?

An amniotic allograft injection is great for anyone with knee pain from osteoarthritis.*

How does it work?

The amniotic product is developed from amniotic tissue and fluid (derived from moral tissue donations) to be injected into soft tissue or joints. The result can be diminished inflammation and pain and increased soft tissue repair and reconstruction.*

4. Bone marrow aspirate concentrate

In simple terms

Bone marrow aspirate is derived from a patient’s bone marrow and injected to aid in the healing process.

Who is it for?

Bone marrow aspirate concentrate provides pain relief for those with moderate to severe knee pain from osteoarthritis.*

How does it work?

Concentrated BMA is high in stem cells that are critical in biological processes such as tissue regeneration and bone formation. BMAC is obtained from a patient in a relatively straightforward and painless process by aspirating the needed bone marrow tissue, usually without any incision or stitches.* The BMAC is then injected into the knee, and can even be mixed with amniotic tissue for more powerful pain relief.* Learn more about the BMAC procedure here.

5. Partial robotic knee replacement surgery/MAKOplasty

In simple terms

A total knee replacement removes the major ligaments of the knee, severely limiting knee motion and requiring a long recovery. Partial knee replacement surgery enlists the help of a robot to resurface only the arthritic region of the knee, preserving the ACL and PCL and natural knee motion.

Who is it for?

Partial knee replacement is possible when an arthritic condition is fairly localized (usually possible in about 10-30 percent of patients).

How does it work?

A CT scan is taken of a patient’s knee to provide a virtual model of his or her specific anatomy. Using this 3-D model, a doctor uses a robotic arm to resurface the arthritic region of the knee, preserving healthy bone and ligaments. Novocur reports that this procedure is so minimal that patients usually walk out of the surgery center less than two hours after surgery and begin physical therapy the next day.*

If you are suffering from knee pain and want to explore alternatives total knee replacement, consider visiting Novocur.com to learn more. With facilities in Scottsdale, Arizona, or Chandler, Arizona, Novocur delivers cutting-edge treatments in state-of-the-art facilities to provide fast-acting and long-lasting relief to its patients.

Dr. Alex Bigham is the owner and CEO of Novocur Pain Management Clinics and has over 18 years of healthcare experience in private practice and Ambulatory Surgical Center settings. Novocur offers advanced treatment options in a concierge type practice without the concierge price tag. Dr. Bigham appears frequently on local TV and radio programs to discuss the latest in Pain Management or related health topics.

*Individual results may vary.

 

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