Your knees are among the largest ball-and-socket joints in your body, and one of the most complex, too. Because your knee has so many moving parts and supports most of your weight when you walk, run, jump, or dance, your knee is easily injured.
As the population in the United States ages and becomes more obese, approximately 25% of women and men can expect to suffer mild to severe knee pain at some point in their lives.
At Rheumatology Center of New Jersey, our expert board-certified rheumatologists know that any number of injuries or medical conditions might be at the root of your knee pain. You may try to tough out your knee pain in the hopes of avoiding invasive surgery, but our doctors encourage you to come in for an evaluation if you have the symptoms of knee dysfunction, such as:
- Redness or swelling
- Decreased mobility
- Locked or frozen knee
- Popping or cracking sound when you move the knee
- Knee that buckles or feels weak (can’t support weight)
- Knee that feels warm to the touch
After thoroughly evaluating your knee pain, ordering any necessary tests, and diagnosing the source of your pain or dysfunction, your doctor will create a treatment plan that’s custom-designed for your individual needs.
Whenever possible, our experts at Rheumatology Center of New Jersey recommend minimally invasive, nonsurgical therapeutic options such as knee injections to heal your injury and restore function.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) injections
The most common source of knee pain is from osteoarthritis, a disorder that that results from the wearing away of the cushioning cartilage that prevents your knee bones from grinding against one another and inflaming nerves. In a healthy knee, your cartilage and surrounding tissues are rich with hyaluronic acid (also known as hyaluronan), a lubricant that allows your knee to move easily and fluidly.
Injections that contain HA restore a healthy cushion of lubricant to your knee joint. Your doctor may first remove a small amount of fluid from your knee to make room for the HA. Injectable medications that contain HA include:
If your doctor prescribes Synvisc-One, you improve after just one injection. All of the other HA-based injection therapies require a series of three to five treatments.
Your doctor uses corticosteroids to alleviate swelling in the soft tissues that support your knee, such as tendons, ligaments, and muscles. One injection of a corticosteroid, such as methylprednisolone acetate or triamcinolone, lasts for up to three months. Doctors recommend limiting steroid shots to no more than four per year.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
Even though PRP is the treatment of choice for athletic elite, you don’t have to be a Tiger Woods or Kobe Bryant to benefit. State-of-the-art PRP utilizes the healing powers of your own blood to replenish and restore damaged or diseased tissues and bones. At the Rheumatology Center of New Jersey, we withdraw a small amount of blood from your forearm, process it to create a concentration of wound-healing platelets, and inject the PRP into the areas of your knee that need healing.
The concentrated platelets in PRP are rich with growth factors that stimulate your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones to heal themselves at an accelerated rate. You may need a series of PRP treatments to achieve an optimal level of pain-free functionality.
You don’t have to suffer knee pain or avoid the doctor because you’re afraid of surgery. We have an easier and safer alternative for you. To get a diagnosis and treatment for your knee pain, call us today or set up a consultation online.