Dr. med. Hartmut Stinus talks about osteoarthritis in the knee
As it’s not possible for damaged cartilage to regenerate, the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee is generally aimed at alleviating its symptoms. The main goals are therefore:
- Reducing knee pain
- Maintaining or even increasing freedom of movement
- Avoiding or delaying a knee operation
- Reducing pain medication
In the following section, we’d like to provide you with key approaches for treating osteoarthritis of the knee by summarising the leading treatment options.
Joint-preserving (non-invasive) treatments
Special osteoarthritis exercises
Joint-specific exercises maintain mobility, strengthen the muscles and ensure the joint cartilage is supplied with all required nutrients.
Orthopaedic devices to relieve pain
Orthopaedic devices are applied externally to the knee or leg. They help relieve knee pain and maintain freedom of movement.
A healthy lifestyle
The successful treatment of osteoarthritis centres on a healthy lifestyle.
Dietary supplements enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin – both of which can be found in cartilage – are intended to prevent its deterioration. However, their effects are presently under debate.
Non-prescription medications for external use
Non-prescription ointments can offer short-term relief from knee joint pain.
Cold and heat therapy
Cooling reduces pain and swelling in case of acute inflammation. Heat relaxes muscles and tendons and increases the flow of nutrients to the cells. However, please remember to use heat treatments only if the joint is not inflamed.
Joint-preserving (invasive) treatment
Hyaluronic acid treatment to activate the synovial fluid
Hyaluronic acid is injected into the knee where it is intended to improve the consistency of the synovial fluid and thereby relieve the cartilage.
Knee operation with the goal of repositioning the bones
A procedure called a corrective osteotomy corrects faulty alignment of the bones and the resulting stress in the knee joint. It involves separating misaligned bones and relocating them to the correct position.
Knee operation with the goal of replacing the natural joint
An endoprosthesis is an artificial joint that replaces the natural knee joint, making it possible to avoid or delay a knee operation.