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Treating Osteoarthritis in the Knee

The most common cause of knee pain is osteoarthritis. While almost everyone will develop some degree of osteoarthritis, there are several factors that increase the risk of developing arthritis of the knee. 

Age, weight, and heredity are the top three factors that increase the risk of osteoarthritis. The ability to heal cartilage decreases with age, as well as increased wear-and-tear on the joint. Weight increases pressure on all joints and for each pound gained, it adds another 3-4 pounds of weight on your knees. Genetics may make a person more likely to develop osteoarthritis. It is also likely that inherited abnormalities in the shape of the bones surrounding the knee joint may cause arthritis. 

Basic Treatments for Knee Arthritis

  • Physical Therapy It focuses on restoring joint function which promotes healing and recovery. Is one of the best ways to help restore function. Usually the pain will limit the progression of the physical therapy.

  • Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) The most commonly used NSAIDs are aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), Toradol, Naproxen. Celebrex, Voltaren and indomethacin. Although they help reduce pain, they come with lots of side effects from upset stomach to stomach bleeding.

  •  Steroid Injection It causes pain and flare ups at first but then helps reduce inflammation and possibly pain. Unfortunately, repeated use has been shown to destroy cartilage, making the symptoms worse down the road.

  • Hyaluronic Acid Injection It works as a lubricant to the joint. Usually needs  2-3  treatment sessions. It helps reduce pain for around 6 months.

  • Prolotherapy Prolotherapy is a sugar-based solution that is injected into an affected area and causes irritation which, in turn, triggers the body’s healing response.  Usually needs  6-10  treatment sessions. It helps reduce pain for around 4-6 months.


  • Joint Scope (Arthroscopy) A scope is placed into the joint under sedation. The surgeon will clean and flush the joint. It is greatly recommended, as more cleaning (shaving) the cartilage cases more osteoarthritis.

Advanced Non-surgical:

  • Platelet Rich Plasma Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is concentrated platelets and plasma that is taken from a patient’s own blood. The PRP has growth factors that promote tissue repair and accelerate healing. Usually needs  2-3  treatment sessions. It helps reduce pain for around 12-18 months.

If knee arthritis affects your daily life, contact First State Orthopaedics to learn more about what treatment options are available.