By Mary Lee Scully
Often painful, osteoarthritis of the knee, is the result of the wear and tear of the knee cartilage; which eventually cause the femur which is the thigh bone, to rub against the tibia, which is the shin bone... thus producing friction and pain. If untreated, knee arthritis not only inflicts pain, but also causes deformity and stiffness, to the extent that it limits movement and mobilisation. Hence, disability can occur!
Knowing this, what are your thoughts and concern about
this predicament? As my mind wander to some options available-- like Knee Replacement, I contemplate on the possible risk factors to my own health... such as inability to walk after surgery due to severe pain, apart from the financial cost. Yet, if I were to opt out of surgery, what other options can I decisively select, that are both beneficial and lasting in terms of duration? The choice is mine without a doubt, so allow me to ponder here.
Can I consider these procedures?

  1. Microfracture - This helps to regenerate cartilage--a standard procedure to rebuild damaged or worn out cartilage that causes pain. With micro-fracture, the surgeon drills punctured holes in the knee cap, called the patella. As it causes bleeding in the bone, it stimulates stem cells to create a scar-like version of a cartilage. As a result, it provides cushioning for the knee-joint. Although it is a low risk, it is only a short-term remedy.

  2. Botox - It is used for inhibiting pain. Surprisingly, Botox though associated with smoothening out wrinkles, it is now being increasingly used to reduce pain in knee osteoarthritis. As it is known, the injections can block the transmission of certain chemical signals that can relate information of pain between the brain and the nerves.

  3. Electro-acupuncture - This aids in reducing pain. Needles are inserted into points in the skin which are attached to a mild electric current, that can be up to nine volts. With the help of the current, the needles stimulate the release of endorphins and oxytocin, both hormones which reduce pain and stress. After three to six sessions lasting an hour each, an improvement can be felt.

  4. Stem cell implantation - This is to grow back cartilage. Stem cells are taken from the patient's Bone-marrow--to create cartilage cells that are just as compatible to natural cartilage. Any risks can be considered minimal, as the stem cells will not face rejection... since they are the patient's own.

  5. Platelet-rich plasma - The patient's blood is withdrawn into a sealed plastic container and is spun in a machine, to break down into its component parts. The protein-rich fluid that contains the blood cells and platelet, is called the plasma which initiates clotting of the blood--is then injected into the damaged knee-joint. With a potent mixture of enzymes and growth factors, the plasma helps to heal the area.

  6. Exercise - It is one of the best and a natural remedy to reduce knee pain, which is far more effective in promoting healing! The Strengthening of the quadriceps muscles in the thighs, will spell out more support for your knee-joints. Besides, these exercises include "squats" as well as "step-ups" too. Additionally, cycling and swimming which do not put pressure on the knees, are highly recommended.

I will cross the bridge when it comes. Meanwhile, it is my fervent hope that with the help of regular exercise, diet and some natural supplements like Turmeric, apple cider vinegar with honey and additionally, natural collagen--it will go a long way to sustaining my knee health. It is vitally important to exercise to keep obesity at bay... so that the unwanted weight, will not add pressure to my knee joints.
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