Can Knees Get Better Without Surgery? Helpful Information for Knee Replacement Candidates

How Long Do Knee Gel Injections Last?Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of knee pain and the primary reason for knee replacement surgery (knee arthroplasty). If you’re among the millions of Americans living with knee osteoarthritis, you’ve probably wondered if it’s possible for your knees to get better without surgery. Let’s take a closer look at knee osteoarthritis, why knee replacement surgery is often recommended, and what conservative therapies may help you find relief.

The Basics of Knee Osteoarthritis

Knee osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition in which the cartilage that cushions the knee joint wears away, leading to pain, stiffness, and eventual bone-on-bone contact. The joint lining can become inflamed, and the connective tissues that bind the joint together may also break down. This condition can progress at different rates for different people and cause varying amounts of discomfort, but one fact remains the same—osteoarthritis can only be managed, not reversed. Once cartilage and other joint tissues wear down, they cannot be restored.

The Benefits of Knee Replacement Surgery

Thinking of undergoing knee replacement surgery may make you nervous, but there are plenty of reasons for optimism. When clinically appropriate, knee replacement is a highly successful procedure that can significantly improve a person’s mobility and overall quality of life.

During the surgery, worn or damaged components of the knee joint are removed and replaced with special implants (prostheses) that are designed to restore fluid, comfortable movement. More than 600,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed annually in the United States and over 90% of knee implants are still functioning well after 15 years, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS).

Non-Surgical Knee Replacement Alternatives

Still, not everyone is a candidate for joint replacement surgery. While knee replacement is the only way to essentially “cure” osteoarthritis, there are several non-surgical therapies and healthy lifestyle choices that can help ease symptoms, promote joint health, and slow the progression of this disease. Popular treatments for knee osteoarthritis include:

Losing excess weight and regularly engaging in gentle, low-impact exercises (like walking or swimming) can also help relieve knee pain and keep you active. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible. Finally, stay away from intense activities that can place undue strain on your knees, such as lifting heavy weights, running, and doing squats.

Our Approach to Knee Pain Treatment

Tampa Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group—a division of Florida Medical Clinic—has been helping locals achieve their best joint health since 1949. Our team is led by orthopedic sports medicine surgeon Dr. Daniel Murphy and sports medicine physician Dr. Arnold Ramirez. Collaborating with a team of experts, our board-certified specialists offer a diverse range of knee osteoarthritis treatments, from platelet-rich plasma therapy and knee gel shots to the latest advancements in knee replacement surgery.

If you’d like to consult with a trusted orthopedic specialist about your osteoarthritis treatment options and whether knee replacement is right for you, contact our friendly team today at (813) 253-2406 or request an appointment on our website.