Treating osteoarthritis

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

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.

Joint replacement

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.