Knee Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, impacts millions of people in the United States each year. In patients suffering from Knee Osteoarthritis, the protective cartilage of the knee wears away and allows bones to rub together. Pain, stiffness, swelling, creaking, bone spurs, and decreased movement can result. Knee Osteoarthritis is diagnosed based on family history, as well as X-ray and MRI results.
Shaquille O’Neal’s Victory Over Knee Osteoarthritis
Basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal has dealt with Knee Osteoarthritis for many years. Since the condition is more common in taller people, O’Neal’s impressive height of 7’1” likely contributed to the formation of his Knee Osteoarthritis. After having surgery in 2002, O’Neal was able to captivate the world with his incredible basketball skills for 9 more years before retiring in 2011. His story shows that with proper treatment, it’s possible to live a fulfilling life after being diagnosed with Knee Osteoarthritis. (Source: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/living-well-with-osteoarthritis/ar-AAcwga)
Historical Treatment was Culturally Dependent
Historical treatment for Knee Osteoarthritis was dependent on culture. The ancient Chinese were far ahead of their time, and were known to treat the symptoms of Osteoarthritis with acupuncture. Most other cultures weren’t so knowledgeable, and lacked treatment options until the 20th century. In the 1930s and 40s, treatment options progressed to include aspirin. Doctors began using cortisone in the 1950s, which improved the prognosis for many Knee Osteoarthritis patients. However, the biggest breakthrough came in the 1980s when doctors realized methotrexate yielded promising results for patients with Knee Osteoarthritis.
Treatment in the Modern Day
Methotrexate is the standard treatment to this day, and naproxen sodium is often prescribed alongside it. Pain relievers such as aspirin are still used as well. In extreme cases, corticosteroids are injected into the knee to provide relief. If corticosteroids fail to relieve the symptoms, surgery is the last resort. Pain relief is the primary goal of most therapies, and preventing long-term damage is also a major focus. Most patients aim to regain their former range of motion and live without pain. Doctors encourage patients to exercise and work towards weight loss, and in some cases physical therapy is recommended to increase mobility.
An Exciting New Treatment Option: Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy
Platelet-rich Plasma therapy is a relatively new treatment option for Knee Osteoarthritis. A solution of Platelet-rich Plasma, also known as PRP, is prepared by a doctor from the patient’s own blood. PRP is injected directly into the joint of the knee to reduce pain and repair long-term damage in patients suffering from Knee Osteoarthritis. Joint function is dramatically improved by PRP treatment in many cases, and the progression of the Knee Osteoarthritis is slowed. Many patients have reported promising results such as increased mobility, decreased pain, and reduced swelling.
Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy is Backed by Research
In a study conducted in 2013, researchers found that patients treated with Platelet-rich Plasma had greater relief from their symptoms than patients who received placebo treatment. 78 patients with Knee Osteoarthritis were evaluated in this study. Group A received a single injection of PRP, Group B received 2 injections 3 weeks apart, and Group C received a saline injection. A statistically significant improvement of symptoms was found in Groups A and B, suggesting that Platelet-rich Plasma therapy was more effective than the placebo. (Source: http://andreassauerbreymd.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Treatment-With-Platelet-Rich-Plasma.pdf)
You Don’t Have to Suffer with Knee Osteoarthritis Forever
Although Knee Osteoarthritis was a debilitating condition for most of human history, modern medicine has offered many promising treatment options. Symptoms such as decreased movement, swelling, pain and bone spurs can be targeted much more effectively now than they were in the past. After standard treatments such as methotrexate have failed, Platelet-rich Plasma therapy is a viable option for patients seeking relief from pain and other symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis.