What Is Knee Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of knee arthritis. It is a degenerative type of arthritis that is likely to occur in individuals 50 years of age and older, but in some instances may occur in those younger.
As we age, the cartilage found in the knee joint gradually wears away. It becomes frayed and worn out, decreasing the protective cushion between the bones in our knees. The result in most cases is bone rubbing on bone, or the production of bone spurs, making simple movements and everyday activities very painful.
Traditional Treatment Options
Although there is no current cure for osteoarthritis of the knee, there are many traditional, noninvasive treatment options available to help manage pain. These might include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen, aspirin, Tylenol, etc.)
- Prescribed pain medications
- Physical therapy
- Therapeutic injections (cortisone, interventional pain procedures)
If traditional noninvasive treatment options such are no longer effective, surgery has traditionally been the next course of treatment for knee osteoarthritis. There are typically two types of surgical procedures performed for osteoarthritic conditions:
Arthroscopy is a simple surgical procedure that involves the use of a small telescope (arthroscope) inserted into the knee that allows your doctor a clear view of the joints and connective tissue within the knee.
The surgery is performed through small incisions. The surgeon inserts the arthroscope into the joint space of the knee. Once there, the surgeon can use the arthroscope to diagnose a joint problem, remove damaged cartilage or loose particles, clean the bone surface, and repair other types of tissue if those damages are discovered. The procedure is often used on younger patients (ages 55 and younger) in order to delay more serious surgery.
- Joint Replacement Surgery, or Arthroplasty
Arthroplasty is a surgical procedure in which joints within the knee are replaced with artificial parts made from metals or plastic. The replacement could involve one side of the knee or the entire knee. Joint replacement surgery is usually reserved for people over age 50 with severe osteoarthritis. The surgery may need to be repeated later if the joint wears out again after several years, but with today’s modern advancements most new joints will last over 20 years. The surgery has risks, but the results are generally very good.
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP, is an advanced treatment option that uses the patient’s own blood components to stimulate the body’s natural healing process in the damaged or injured area causing pain. PRP therapy allows MPC’s physicians the ability to isolate and concentrate the platelets found within the blood, creating a potent solution of natural protein rich growth factors that can be used to treat a variety of chronic pain conditions.
The general process of obtaining and preparing PRP is relatively simple. A small amount of blood is drawn from the patient, placed in a filter, and spun in a specially designed centrifuge to isolate and increase the concentration of platelets. This highly concentrated solution of platelets is then injected directly into the site of injury or damaged area, initiating an enhanced regenerative response from the body. Once introduced, the PRP floods the damaged area and begins to break down and repair damaged tissue, resulting in long term pain relief.
- Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Therapy
BMAC is an alternative to PRP for selective patients choosing Regenerative Medicine from Michigan Pain Consultants. Stem cells are known as the body’s repair kit as they have the unique ability to replicate themselves for use in any tissue or organ found throughout the body.
Platelet injection treatments are effective because they have a stimulating effect on the stem cells within the targeted area, making those stem cells work harder to heal damaged tissues.
Bone marrow aspirate concentrate therapy, (BMAC) is a regenerative procedure that utilizes adult stem cells extracted from your very own bone marrow. Adult stem cells are often referred to as the body’s “master” cell as they have the unique ability to constantly renew and adapt themselves into some or all of the major specialized cell types of any tissue or organ throughout the body.
Bone marrow aspirate concentrate therapy works much in the same way as the platelet-rich plasma therapy. In this case, a physician extracts bone marrow from the patient’s hip, which is then spun in a centrifuge, separating the adult stem cells and platelets from the rest of the blood components. The platelets and stem cells are then injected into the affected area of the body initiating a regenerative response from the body.
BMAC is particularly indicated for advanced cases of severe osteoarthritis as well as other degenerative joint conditions of the knee, back, shoulder and hip. It is a natural treatment option for patients suffering from chronic conditions designed to restore function and provide long term pain relief.
What happens after knee (joint) replacement surgery?
The average hospital stay after knee joint replacement is usually three to five days. The vast majority of people who undergo knee joint replacement surgery have dramatic improvement. This improvement is most notable one month or more after surgery. After knee joint replacement, people are standing and moving the joint the day after surgery. At first, you may walk with the help of parallel bars, and then a walking device such as crutches, walker, or cane, until your knee is able to support your full body weight. After about six weeks, most people are walking comfortably with minimal assistance. Once muscle strength is restored with physical therapy, people who have had knee joint replacement surgery can enjoy most activities (except running and jumping).
MPC’S Regenerative Medicine Accelerates Your Healing
Regenerative Medicine from Michigan Pain Consultants offers individuals suffering from knee osteoarthritis an exciting alternative to traditional surgical procedures. Regenerative Medicine is a noninvasive treatment designed to positively accelerate the unique healing power of your body to treat chronic degenerative conditions like knee osteoarthritis. MPC offers two Regenerative Medicine Treatment programs:
What Happens After PRP/BMAC?
All Regenerative Medical procedures are performed directly within our clinics at Michigan Pain Consultants. Patients are able to walk out of our clinic on their own power within 30 minutes to 1 hour post procedure. Patients undergoing either a PRP or a BMAC procedure will begin to experience noticeable improvement within three weeks of the procedure. Typically, patients undergoing PRP/BMAC will need a booster procedure once a year after their initial procedure.
Contact Michigan Pain Consultants Today
Make an appointment for a new patient consultation with one of their board certified pain physicians. All of Michigan Pain Consultant’s physicians are Board Certified in Anesthesiology or Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and have advanced training and experience in Pain Medicine. You can begin first by visiting online at MyLifeBeyondPain.com, MichiganPain.com, or by calling them at (800)281-3237.
For over 30-years and with six locations throughout West Michigan, Michigan Pain Consultants comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to pain care offers patients and providers renewed hope for relief from chronic pain. Chronic pain should be treated like other chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or congestive heart failure. Chronic pain requires chronic treatment. The goal of the treatment is to optimize the management of the pain, as opposed to curing the pain.