Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. Some people call it degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis. It occurs most frequently in the hands, hips, and knees. With OA, the cartilage within a joint begins to break down and the underlying bone begins to change. Over time, the condition will typically worsen, leading to inflammation, more pain, and loss of motion in the joints.
Osteoarthritis affects 27 million Americans — a number that is expected to skyrocket to 70 million by 2030 — and it’s the leading cause of disability in older adults.
While arthritis can be debilitating, there’s a lot that you can do to alleviate the pain and improve your function!
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in your joints gradually deteriorates. Cartilage is a firm, slippery tissue that enables nearly frictionless joint motion. Eventually, if the cartilage wears down completely, bone will rub on bone. Primary osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown of this cartilage. It can happen in any joint but usually affects your fingers, thumbs, spine, hips, knees, or big toes. Osteoarthritis is more common in older people.
Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
The largest weight-bearing joint in your body, the knee, serves to connect the bones of your upper and lower leg. In coordination with your hips, pelvis, upper and lower legs, ankles, and feet, your knees facilitate a complete range of lower body movement. Although quite strong and masterfully engineered, your knees are not invulnerable to injury or the wear and tear they endure over time. If you stop to think that even the act of walking transmits forces between two and three times your body weight across the knee joint, it’s easy to appreciate the stresses and strains a lifetime of activity puts on your knees.
A knee debilitated by osteoarthritis makes even the simple activities of daily living challenging and painful. You may wake up with pain, experience knee stiffness, have difficulty going up and downstairs, and find yourself relying on pain medications to experience relief.
However, before you consider knee replacement surgery, months of immobility, pain, lengthy rehabilitation, and large medical bills, effective non-surgical options, including customized knee bracing from our office, are now available to help alleviate discomfort.
The Advanced Arthritis Relief Protocol ™ (AARP) is a non-surgical approach to the treatment of knee pain caused by Osteoarthritis. The AARP program utilizes non-surgical hyaluronic acid injections with specialized knee bracing and a comprehensive home exercise program. The treatment is FDA-approved and is covered by Medicare and all major commercial insurances.
The injections are called “Viscosupplementation therapy”. Viscosupplementation is a procedure, whereby a gel-like fluid called hyaluronic acid is injected into the knee joint. The gel replenishes your joint’s synovial fluid, which is the natural lubricant in your joints. It acts as a lubricant to enable bones to move smoothly over each other and as a shock absorber for joint loads. Research has shown it to be over 90% successful in alleviating pain associated with osteoarthritis!
As part of the Advanced Arthritis Relief Protocol, steroid injections may also be recommended prior to joint lubricant (gel) injections, to reduce stagnant inflammation in your joint. This helps your joint tissues to more effectively absorb and benefit from the lubricating properties of the gel injections.
This treatment requires NO recovery time, and our veteran team of specialists has provided hundreds of patients with this incredible treatment protocol.
Fluoroscopy is an imaging technique that utilizes X-Ray to obtain real-time moving images of the internal structures of the knee. If determined to be necessary by the practitioner, fluoroscopes can be an invaluable tool in the treatment and care of Osteoarthritis. They provide immediate and vivid internal imagery of the patient clearly demonstrating the joint space of the knee.
As a key component of the Advanced Arthritis Relief Protocol, a custom-designed knee brace, known as an “Unloading Knee Brace,” can provide the added support and stability needed to alleviate chronic knee pain and allow more comfortable movement.
Simply put, an unloading knee brace redistributes forces on the osteoarthritic joint to unload pressure and alleviate stress while providing the added stability needed to prevent further pain and damage.
Custom-designed and fitted to the exact specifications of your knee, this specialized brace shifts the weight and pressures from the damaged area to a healthier and stronger area. Fabricated of molded plastic with cushioning foam and steel struts to stabilize the knee joint, the brace limits side-to-side motion while providing the flexibility required for movement.
Additionally, our Unloading Knee Brace has been shown to increase joint space, reducing pressure on the cartilage of the knee and knee capsule. This unloading effect allows the viscosupplement to bond with the body’s existing synovial fluid with greater ease; resulting in both faster and longer-lasting positive patient outcomes.
People suffering from knee pain typically try supplements or pain medications before seeking help from a doctor.
When all else fails and the pain is too much, some believe that surgery is their only option.
Before you put yourself through months of immobility, pain, rehabilitation, and hefty medical bills, consider these facts:
|Advanced Arthritis Relief Protocol||Surgery|
|Cost||Covered by most insurance plans including medicare||Deductible, co-pay, medications, time-off work, etc.|
|Risk||No known side effects||Blood clots, infection, poor outcome, addiction to pain medications|
|Pain||Little to none||Can be severe for months|
|Recovery||Immediate||Months / Years|
Are you tired of your knees feeling stiff and sore all the time? Do you notice getting up and down from a chair and/or climbing stairs is getting more painful? You could be living with arthritis. Fortunately, at the Maryland Center for Arthritis and Regenerative Care, you can find solutions to your arthritic pain without major surgery, so you can get back to living the life you enjoy!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 32.5 million adults are affected by OA.
And there’s more
While the term arthritis refers to over 100 rheumatic conditions affecting the joints, osteoarthritis is the most common form. It accounts for high percentage of the personal, societal, and economic burdens associated with the disease.
Did you know?
Following diabetes and dementia, osteoarthritis is the third most rapidly rising condition associated with disability.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a form of regenerative therapy that helps you manage pain in joints, tendons, ligaments and other pressure areas. This procedure uses your body's own healing properties to treat pain and stimulate healing.
Before you consider surgery for managing knee pain and other injuries, you should explore all non-surgical options. PRP is minimally invasive and is effective in treating pain in your knees and restoring function and range of motion.
Your blood is made up of platelets and white and red blood cells. Platelets help with clotting when you get a cut, and they also contain proteins and growth factors that help in the healing process. Plasma is the liquid part of your blood, and “platelet-rich plasma” contains a higher concentration of platelets than normal blood does.
Before your appointment, our practitioner may give you instructions such as stopping anti-coagulant, steroid and NSAID medications. You should also drink plenty of water in the days just before your appointment.
At your appointment, the practitioner will draw a vial of your blood, which is run through a centrifuge for approximately five to ten minutes. The centrifuge spins very fast to separate the components of your blood.
Next, they clean the skin and use fluoroscopic imaging to see inside your body and help guide the needle. The goal is to inject the PRP infusion directly into the injured part of your knee.
You may experience some soreness in your knee following the procedure. Use cold compresses to ease the pain. If the practitioner determines that multiple rounds of PRP treatment are needed, they will be administered four to six weeks apart.
People suffering from pain in the ligaments, tendons, muscles, bones and cartilage in the knees benefit from PRP injections. This includes people who suffered an injury or have a degenerative condition. Common conditions treated with PRP injections are: