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Knee Pain

Knee pain is a very common problem. If your knee has been bothering you for a while or keeping you from activities you enjoy, the new year is a good time to take action. I encourage you to resolve to get the right diagnosis; resolve to take action to relieve the painresolve to live life to the fullest, life pain-free. 

For some people, strategies such as physical therapy and weight loss may bring so much improvement, they will feel like they have a “new” knee. For others with severe arthritis and constant pain, a “new knee” in the form of a joint replacement may be the best option to eliminate the pain once and for all.

Basically, there are two types of knee pain. “Acute” pain is what we experience after a sudden knee injury. When this happens, people are advised to follow the regimen known as RICE:  Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. They should rest their knee, apply ice on and off, and keep the joint elevated over the level of their heart. They may consider using a compression bandage, as well. However, if the injury is really bad and one cannot put weight on the joint, it is advisable to go to the emergency room or see an orthopedic surgeon sooner rather than later.

The other kind of knee pain is called “chronic” because it doesn’t go away. It may be worse on some days, but the discomfort is generally ongoing. The most common reason for this type of pain is arthritis, which results from wear and tear.

As the joint damage progresses, it can become increasingly painful, but some simple strategies and good practices could help you feel better.

The first step is to see a doctor for the proper diagnosis. Anyone who has pain, stiffness or swelling in or around a joint for more than a couple of weeks is advised to make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. 

When someone is diagnosed with arthritis, the following strategies may provide some relief:

A doctor may recommend steroid injections into the knee joint to reduce inflammation. This may provide temporary relief, but can only be used on a limited basis. Another procedure called viscosupplementation entails injecting a substance called hyaluronic acid into the knee to provide lubrication. This procedure may benefit people with mild to moderate arthritis, but studies have not shown it to be useful for those with advanced arthritis.

For more information about arthritis and Dr. Chadwick Hampton’s Hip and Knee practice visit www.hamptonhipandknee.com

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