Chronic knee pain can sideline many patients. It can make even the simplest tasks such as walking painful. In our beloved state of Colorado, we pride ourselves on staying active in the mountains. We enjoy everything from hiking, biking, walking, running, skiing, and snowboarding. Knee pain can interfere with many of these activities and lead additional pains from our body compensating. Patients may even suffer chronic knee pain after a partial or total surgical knee replacement.
What leads to chronic knee pain?
Chronic knee pain can be from simple wear and tear causing degeneration of the cartilage space and joint over years. It can also be from injuries to the supporting knee tendons and ligaments due to sports, activity, or trauma. Once these occur, knee pain can set in, lead to inflammation, and cause limitation in our daily life and activities. Many times knee pain intensity will vary with the weather, or be at its worse in the morning or evening. Some patients will even experience chronic knee pain after a technically accurate surgical procedure.
Do I need knee surgery or a replacement, or are there other options?
The majority of patients still have options prior to the need for knee surgery. Many knee ailments including acute trauma, tears, and osteoarthritis can be treated with radiofrequency ablation or new regenerative medicine options such as platelet-rich plasma therapy and stem cell therapy.
Some patients unfortunately do not have other options besides knee surgery; however, these additional treatments are still viable methods if you are still experiencing pain after surgery.
For example, radiofrequency ablation to the knee joint has been demonstrated to provide pain relief and an increase in function. Radiofrequency needles are inserted around the knee to the nerves responsible for pain sensation. After undergoing the appropriate safety checks with sensory and motor testing, the target nerves undergo ablation resulting in a disruption of pain signals. Patients will experience a reduction in their knee pain with results typically lasting between 6 months – 2 years at times.
Therapy can often be combined with multiple treatment modalities including radiofrequency ablation, regenerative medicine, and conservative care to maximize outcomes. Dr. Masri works with extensively with conservative care specialists as well as orthopedic surgeons to provide the best options for a patient.
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