Risk factors that contribute to knee arthritis include age, weight and trauma due to repetitive movements such as squatting or kneeling. Sounds to me like these risk factors equates to hard labouring jobs. Say a builder, a construction worker, a nurse. Not only do these jobs entail squatting or kneeling, but commonly require doing so with a weight.
As a younger worker, you may have felt invincible, but as time goes on the aging process is inevitable and things don’t work as there suppose too. This is the first road block I get to when dealing with patients with knee arthritis. “Oh it’s just old age”. To that I say “well yes and no, it’s old age plus the 30+ years you spent in the work force continuously bending and squatting down.”
Is there a cure?
“My doctor says nothing but a knee replacement can be done, but I think I’ll just put up with the pain”
This is where you’re going to have to give us a go! With the latest research starting to catch up to what we’ve been doing for ages, there is certainly something that your podiatrist can do!
The first and most effective in my experience has been prolotherapy! Err what is prolotherapy and does it hurt? Prolotherapy is an injection therapy where we inject a mixture of 3 solutions. Saline, Dextrose which is a sugar, and Lignocaine which is a local anesthetic. What this concoction does is actually causes an irritation in the knee joint which initiates a healing response. This gets your body to start laying down cartilage which was worn away with the arthritis.
Does it hurt? Well that’s the beauty of the local anesthetic! You won’t feel pain at all apart from the initial injection which will feel like getting a flu shot. If you can tolerate a needle, then no it doesn’t hurt. You will not get any pain after the treatment.
The second treatment is what’s called lateral wedging. Although this is better done through an orthotic, a wedge can be placed underneath the foot which is thickest on the outside. This opens up the inner part of your knee, thereby reducing compressional forces.
But don’t take our word for it. As I said there are research papers that are starting to demonstrate what we can do for you. I will link them below. If they seem a little complex, all you need to do is read the conclusions which show the outcomes of each treatment.