The knee is the largest moveable joint in the human body, and also one of the most complex. It connects your femur (thigh bone) to your tibia and fibula (leg bones). The knee is also very vulnerable and easily injured, which can lead to pain.
Knee pain is extremely common and can affect people of all ages. It may begin suddenly after an injury or exercise, or start to hurt gradually and worsen over time from basic wear & tear. Your knees spend most of their life bearing the weight of your entire body. If they are injured, it can lead to constant pain.
Knee pain can be caused by any number of factors, some are avoidable and others not. The key to relieving knee pain is a proper diagnosis and early treatment. In many cases, knee pain can be managed with simple exercises.
At the Ainsworth Institute of Pain Management, our physicians are uniquely trained in the latest and most advanced treatments for knee pain. Our board certified pain management specialists offer a combination of treatment options for knee pain that few others can.
Most importantly though, the Ainsworth Institute is involved in a number of clinical trials for knee pain – allowing us to offer cutting-edge treatments not yet available to the general public.
Viscosupplementation – This procedure is gradually becoming the standard in treating knee pain. A viscous and slippery medication called hyaluronic acid is injected into the knee to cushion the joint and eliminate pain. The medication is synthetic, so there are none of the risks associated with steroids (i.e. elevated sugars in diabetics or increased blood pressure in patients with hypertension). This hyaluronic acid acts like a gel that provides a protective barrier between the bones and allows the joint to slide rather than grind.
Genicular Nerve Ablation – This particular treatment is brand new and not yet available at all medical centers. Using radiofrequency ablation (RFA), energy is applied to the genicular nerves surrounding the knee which in turn stuns them and prevents them from transmitting pain. It is a minimally invasive and inexpensive option for alleviating pain, restoring function and possibly avoiding knee surgery altogether.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) – This treatment has only become available within the United States in the last few years; previously patients were required to travel to Europe to receive it. A small sample of blood is taken and then filtered through a centrifuge to isolate the natural healing elements and growth factors contained within. The filtered sample containing concentrated amounts of these factors is then reintroduced into the knee. This platelet rich plasma is capable of potentially regenerating cartilage, repairing damaged ligaments, and most of all eliminating knee pain.
Stem Cell Therapy – When tissue is damaged in the human body, stem cells will locate the injured area and attempt to repair it by filling in for damaged cells. Some body parts, like the knee, do not have a sufficient blood supply for the stem cells to get to the damage. In Stem Cell Therapy, stem cells are harvested from the bone marrow or fat, carefully processed, than injected into the knee. Shortly after, they will detect the injury and begin their transformation into knee cells to repair the damage. Stem cell therapy is considered to be one of, if not THE most promising treatment available for a host of pain syndromes.
The initial goal in treating knee pain pain is addressing the underlying cause.
Physical Therapy & Conservative Measures – Particular exercises can be useful in stabilizing the joint and reducing pain.
Medication management & Pharmacologic Therapy – In patients who do not have a correctable cause, pharmacotherapy may be used as an adjunct to treatment. Anti-inflammatories, namely NSAIDs, and muscle relaxants may be of some benefit. There is only weak evidence for the benefit of tricyclic antidepressants.
The Ainsworth Institute is Here to Help
The doctors at the Ainsworth Institute of Pain Management specialize in managing and treating knee pain. Dramatic improvements in pain and quality of life are attainable with the right treatment regimen. Schedule an appointment today with one of our board certified pain management experts to discuss what options for treatment may best suit your needs.