Nonoperative Treatments

MEDICATIONS

There currently are no FDA approved medications to treat cartilage conditions.  Some studies  have demonstrated that the use of the nutritional supplement glucosamine might slow the  destructive changes that occur in articular cartilage.  Medications labelled as arthritis  medicine target the pain and symptoms such as swelling and stiffness that are associated with  osteoarthritis.  Patients and their doctors should work collaboratively to determine the most  effective medication to relieve those symptoms while causing the least side effects.  Options  include pain relievers such as acetaminophen , ibuprofen, naproxen, or prescription  nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

WEIGHT LOSS

Carrying extra weight has been shown to exert a greater demand on the joint and can lead to a  greater deterioration and progression of knee arthritis.  This often results in a very cyclic  pattern.  Activity decreases as the result of the pain, stiffness, and swelling experienced in  the joint and the reduction in activity often leads to even more weight gain and more stress  and strain on the joints.  Measures should be taken to find an exercise regimen that will  promote activity and weight loss without triggering the pain associated with high impact  exercise.  Restoring strength and flexibility in the muscles from the back and pelvis through  the entire leg can assist in reducing the workload directly on the knee/joint.

LOCAL PAIN MANAGEMENT

Cold therapy is often used in the early stage of an injury to decrease the associated swelling  and pain.  Heat therapy is often used in later or more chronic phases of knee problems to  increase the blood flow and diminish stiffness and pain.

INJECTIONS:  CORTICOSTEROIDS AND VISCOSUPPLEMENTS

Cortisone injections have been used for many, many years to reduce knee pain.

Viscosupplementation involves injecting a preparation of hyaluronic acid into the knee joint  to improve the activity of the knee and to diminish the pain experienced at rest.

BRACING

There are several bracing options that are available to manage the pain, stiffness, and  swelling associated with knee cartilage conditions.  An unloader brace transfers a portion  of the load/weight to the unaffected side of the joint.  Other braces are designed to help  control abnormal movements of the knee.

THERAPY

The knee experiences a very high workload just from the activities of daily living alone.  The  muscles of the knee serve as shock absorbers for the joint and an exercise regimen designed by  a physical therapist targeting the muscles that serve the back, pelvis, hip, and knee are  important to build strength and prevent further damage or pain.

Satisfied SOS Patients

I would highly recommend Dr. Battaglia as I feel he is really concerned about my condition and is very confident in handling my case. He never rushed me through my appointment and took the time to answer all my questions and concerns. He is very informative and gave me options as to what I can expect in my future care and involved me in those options. He never used 'terms' that I  was not familiar with and  explained everything to me in which I could understand. I  would highly recommend him to anyone that needed this type of orthopedic care. Please thank him for his patience with me as I asked a lot of questions! :)

Denise V.

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