Hip and Knee Preservation

Knee Preservation

Sometimes knee replacement surgery isn't the best option for a painful knee. Dr. Howell offers other treatment options ranging from injection therapy to outpatient arthroscopy to help get you back on your feet.

Injection Therapy

There are different types of injections that can be done to treat an arthritic knee:

  • Steroid injections - these injections have an anti-inflammatory effect in the knee that helps reduce the pain and swelling cause by arthritis. These can typically be done every three months and usually do not require any insurance approval.
  • Viscosupplementation - You may have heard of someone getting a "rooster comb" or "gel" shot. They were referring to viscosupplementation. This is an injection of material that is similar to the fluid that they knee naturally makes. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect that reduces the pain and swelling caused by arthritis. This shot may require pre-authorization by your insurance company and can usually only be done every six months.
  • Platelet Rich Plasma injection - This is an injection consisting of platelets from your own blood after they have been separated in a centrifuge. When these platelets are injected back into the knee, they have a very strong anti-inflammatory effect in the knee. Studies suggest that they are more effective in reducing pain and swelling associated with arthritis than steroid or viscosupplementation injections. Insurance companies do consider this treatment to be experimental and usually do not cover them. If you are interested in this treatment, ask Dr. Howell during your office visit.
  • Stem-cell injections -  Stem cell injection therapy is another experimental treatment for helping decrease the pain and inflammation associated with knee arthritis. Insurance companies do not pay for these injections. If you are interested in this treatment option, ask Dr. Howell for more information in the office.

Knee Braces

Some arthritis patterns can be managed using a custom-fit brace that takes the pressure off of the area of the knee with arthritis allowing for decreased pain and swelling with activity. These braces are small enough to be worn under your normal clothes. 

Knee Arthroscopy

Sometimes knee pain is caused by another issue other than arthritis such as a torn meniscus. In these situations, an outpatient "scope" procedure may be the best choice for reducing knee pain and allowing you to return to more normal activities. Patients go home the same day and can usually return to two work in approximately two weeks. 

Hip Injection Therapy

Just like with the knee, there are some circumstances where hip replacement surgery isn't the best option for an individual patient. In this scenario, an x-ray or ultrasound guided steroid injection may help alleviate your hip pain until surgery is an option.