The knee is made up of the tibia, patella, and femur, and has a supporting system of soft tissues such as cartilage, ligament, and muscle. When the knee joint gets damaged, it can impact function significantly. Without functional knees, you can’t stand, walk, or run.
Throughout your life, you may experience knee pain due to injuries or in your more advanced years, due to a degenerative disease called osteoarthritis. Knee pain can have many causes and a proper diagnosis is a critical step before receiving treatment. Acute knee pain can be addressed with rest and painkillers. Chronic knee pain has to be addressed with other treatments.
While a primary care doctor can examine your knee and prescribe medication to ease pain, an orthopedic doctor is a specialist on the musculoskeletal system and can provide options for treating knee pain more effectively.
Here are some ways orthopedic doctors treat knee pain.
Ultrasound-Guided Cortisone Injections
An orthopedic doctor can administer ultrasound-guided cortisone shots as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for knee pain. Ultrasound is used for precision and the combination of cortisone and anesthetic helps deliver long-lasting pain relief. Patients with both acute or chronic knee pain can benefit from this type of therapy.
Another type of injection therapy is viscosupplementation, in which a doctor injects hyaluronic acid (HA) into the knee to provide lubrication to the joint. This is often recommended for patients with knee osteoarthritis who have lost the ability to lubricate the knee joint. The HA will enhance the lubricating properties of the synovial fluid which helps relieve pain and improve knee function. Viscosupplementation usually has long-lasting positive effects, with some patients reporting an improvement in symptoms for up to six months.
Stem Cell and PRP Therapy
Many orthopedic doctors also use regenerative medicine to relieve pain and boost injury healing. Stem cell therapy and PRP therapy use components taken from your blood. In stem cell therapy, adult stem cells are harvested and injected into the knee to promote the healing of damaged tissue. In PRP therapy, blood is taken from your body, platelets are isolated and concentrated using a centrifuge machine, and injected into the knee. The platelets contain growth factors that can boost the repair and healing process. Patients with soft tissue injuries and osteoarthritis may benefit from stem cell therapy and PRP therapy.
Orthopedic doctors usually exhaust conservative and minimally-invasive methods of treatment before recommending surgery. For patients who no longer respond well to nonsurgical treatment methods, doctors may recommend a variety of surgical procedures, such as knee replacement, reconstruction of ligaments, repair of torn cartilage, removal of bone fragments, and more.
Orthopedic Doctor for Knee Pain in Little Rock
Dr. William Hefley is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Bowen Hefley Orthopedics with decades of experience treating knee pain. He is fellowship-trained in sports medicine and an expert in treating knee conditions.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Hefley, call (800) 336-2412 or request an appointment online now. Our friendly staff looks forward to serving you.