If you are suffering from chronic and debilitating knee pain, what options do you have? Traditionally addressing knee pain medically has involved high doses of potentially addictive pain medication, extensive physical therapy, and invasive surgical procedures, including full knee replacement.
While there is a wide range of causes for knee pain, most of these conditions can be traced back to tissue damage, either of the cartilage that protects the bone or the muscles and ligaments that help control the knee.
However, recent advances have allowed us to find new ways of treating the root causes of the pain – inflammation due to tissue damage – without the harmful side effects and long recovery times of traditional methods.
Causes of knee pain
The knee depends upon healthy tissue in order to function. When these tissues are injured or damaged through normal wear and tear or disease, the delicate balance within the joint is threatened.
Here are some common causes of knee pain:
- Cartilage loss and damage: as we age, the cartilage in the knee can wear down or become dislocated and, in some cases, even torn. The cartilage provides an essential cushioning between the bones of the knee. If it wears down, this can lead to numerous health issues, including osteoarthritis, if the femur, tibia, and fibula are coming into contact.
- Tendon and ligament damage: in addition to other injuries that might affect the bones like the patella, often athletes or people with active lifestyles or jobs can incur injuries to ligaments and tendons that provide the infrastructure of the knee. If the ligaments and tendons tear or become strained, the resulting displacement in the knee can cause tremendous tissue damage and pain.
- Bursitis: your knee has small fluid-filled sacs called bursae that allow ligaments and tendons to freely move over the bones within the joint. Occasionally these can become ruptured, causing the tissues to come into direct contact with bone, resulting in intense pain.
Alternatives to medication and surgery
Recently, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments have become a viable alternative to painkillers and invasive surgeries to address problems within the knee. In the PRP treatment process, the medical team removes blood from the patient and creates a concentrated solution of platelets using a centrifuge.
The platelets are reintroduced to the body in a targeted way so that they are infused within the areas suffering tissue damage. The platelets then go to work, communicating biochemically with the damaged tissues and cells and encouraging the process of regrowth and healing.
The cytokines, amino acids, and other healing factors actually address the root cause of the knee pain – the damaged tissue – and allow the patient to gain relief from the resulting pain.
If you are suffering from chronic knee pain and are looking for an alternative to medication and surgery, please contact us and set up an appointment so we can see if PRP is right for your situation.