Arthritis of the knee is a common condition that may gradually deteriorate, if left untreated. In severe cases, knee arthritis can cause debilitating pain and will compromise the quality of life of the patient.
Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven Thomas and Dr. Gregory Bigler of the Thomas & Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute provide treatments for knee arthritis to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, and surrounding communities across the landscape in this part of the southwest.
Analgesics are a commonly used drug to provide relief from various forms of knee arthritis. Unlike NSAIDs, which target both inflammation and pain, analgesics are aimed only at pain relief. These drugs may be prescribed for patients who are unable to use NSAIDs due to side effects or allergies. Analgesics will also help patients whose knee arthritis causes pain but not inflammation.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are a popular form of oral treatment to address the condition of knee arthritis. Over a dozen drugs are available in this category, both with and without prescription. NSAIDs are designed to help ease pain as well as inflammation arising out of knee arthritis. In fact, NSAIDs can be used to treat all forms of arthritis.
Hylauronic Acid Injectables
HA supplements may be injected into knee joints to supplement naturally occurring hyaluronic acid. In healthy joints, HA performs the role of a lubricant and a shock absorber, enabling their smooth movement over each other. Therefore, in patients where the acid is disintegrated due to knee arthritis, a supplement may reduce pain and inflammation.
In some cases, the surgeon may decide to inject corticosteroids directly into the arthritic knee joint to provide quick relief from pain and inflammation. These injections may deliver benefits lasting from a few days to over six months. Although targeted relief to joint is achievable with corticosteroid injections, but this treatment is not without risks. Repeated injections to the knee joint may contribute to breakdown of the cartilage. The surgeon will usually limit the number of injections a patient may receive.
Arthrocentesis or joint fluid aspiration involves removal of joint fluid through a hollow needle inserted into the knee’s joint space. The goal is to test the joint fluid in the lab, but the removal of excess fluid may also provide quick relief from pain and swelling in the knee. In many cases, the surgeon may use the same puncture site where the fluid was removed to inject a corticosteroid preparation or anesthetic to further address the pain and inflammation.
Total knee replacement is a common form of knee surgery. The surgeon will remove the damaged knee joint and replace it with prosthesis of metal, ceramic or plastic components. The knee is, in fact, the most commonly replaced joint. If the joint damage is irreparable and compromises knee function and causes persistent pain, the surgeon may recommend this surgery.
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive knee surgery that may be used to remove or repair torn menisci, repair a torn cruciate ligament, trim torn pieces of knee cartilage or perform synovectomy. Standout and dedicated board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada, and nearby areas for knee arthritis treatments.
If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. call (702) 933-9393; Physical Therapy (702) 933-9393.