How is arthritis of the knee treated?

How is arthritis of the knee treated?

Healthcare providers can't cure knee arthritis. But they have some tips that might reduce the severity of your symptoms and possibly stop the arthritis from getting worse, including:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise using low-impact activities (swimming, cycling) instead of high-impact activities (jogging, tennis). Aim for about 150 minutes of exercise per week.
  • Wear shock-absorbing inserts in your shoes.
  • Apply heat or ice to the area.
  • Wear a knee sleeve or brace.
  • Physical therapy exercises that help with flexibility, strength and motion.
  • Use a cane.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Platelet-rich plasma.

Check with your healthcare provider before you try any of these tips. They’ll know what is and what is not appropriate for you depending on the stage of the disease.

You could also try medications, including:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol®).
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen, Advil®, Motrin®, Aleve®).
  • Dietary supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.
  • Ointments or creams that relieve pain.
  • Corticosteroids (cortisone shot).
  • COX-2 inhibitors (Celebrex® and Mobic®).
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

Ask your healthcare provider if it’s OK for you to try the over-the-counter medications and supplements for arthritis of the knee.

Nonsurgical options don’t always work for everyone with knee arthritis. You might need to have a type of surgery, including an:

  • Arthroplasty.
  • Arthroscopy.
  • Osteotomy.

Most people have stage 4 arthritis when they get surgery.

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