Most patients can manage their hip and knee pain with conservative treatments which include oral medications, joint injections, and physical therapy. Non-invasive treatments should be exhausted before even considering hip or knee replacement surgery.
Oral medications for the management of hip or knee osteoarthritis revolve around non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve). Certain prescription strength NSAID medications can help alleviate patients pain more effectively. If patients cannot take NSAIDs due to their other medical problems then certain alternative topical and oral medications are also available. Patient’s often inquire about glucosamine or other supplements to treat or slow the progression of their arthritis. Current literature has not shown that these supplements make a difference, however, they are safe to take as long as they are from reputable brands and sources.
Hip and knee injections can help reduce the inflammation in the joint and relieve pain. Typically, patients can get reasonable relief from cortisone injections, however, they can only be administered into a single joint once every three to four months. Other injections such as visco-supplementation or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) may also be effective depending on the patient and pattern of arthritis.
Physical therapy can help facilitate strengthening the structures around the hip and knee joint. This allows patients to increase the motion they have in these joints and offload the joint itself to alleviate their pain. Though physical therapy is helpful for most, it can be debilitating in patients with significant joint stiffness or pain with range of motion.
Please ask Dr. Bawa about what conservative treatments would be good options for you in the management of your hip or knee pain. After a thorough evaluation, he can better work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan.