“Some things are worth waiting for” – While true, this statement is problematic for patients suffering from excruciating pain while waiting to have knee or hip surgery. Fortunately, there are procedures you can entertain while counting down the days (or even months, or even years) until you are seen by the surgeon.
Depending on where you live, the health-care system could be overloaded. In reality, it likely is. Having a years-long waiting list is not uncommon in some communities. Mix in a deadly pandemic and all bets are off when it comes to being treated in a timely manner. Hospital beds are full, surgeries are cancelled, rehabilitation offices are closed – and suddenly fixing a knee or hip is not a priority. The problem is the pain does not go away by itself.
It is ideal to consider alternative therapies leading up to knee or hip surgery that provide comfort in the short term or eliminate the need for surgery altogether.
Many patients consider pain relievers while suffering through the discomfort. These might provide temporary and minor relief, but do not get to the root of the issue. They are not designed to fix or heal, but rather ease the pain and suffering. In a sense, they mask the actual problem. Truthfully, NSAIDs or Advil can make arthritis worse, for instance.
Permanent healing is possible for sufferers using a natural and non-surgical technique involving injections of the body’s own platelets. Known as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections. PRP decreases a patient’s pain and also heals and regenerates his or her damaged body tissue in joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and menisci.
It works when we draw the patient’s blood, spin it in a centrifuge, and collect its platelets and plasma. The platelets are combined with a portion of the plasma and this mixture is injected into the damaged area. The entire treatment takes about one hour to perform.
Growth factors derived from platelets encourages DNA synthesis, stimulates the growth of new cells and increases collagen deposits. It is one of the alternative medicine field’s most promising treatments for injuries to the human body.
Another treatment to consider while seeking relief from hip or knee pain is prolotherapy injection therapy. This benefits patients who are suffering with a tendon/ligament injury. The process involves strengthening the ligaments and tendons by the injection of a proliferative agent.
The injection therapy includes the use of ozone gas. This further stimulates chondroblasts to produce more connective tissue for the joint. It begins to ease the pain on the joint and begin to repair it. Patients usually encounter brief soreness for one or two days following the injection but also experience less tenderness.
Nerves run within the ligaments and tendons and can be stretched if they are weak. This results in muscles working overtime to compensate for loose ligaments. The pain occurs when the nerves are stretched by the muscular strain. Strengthening those ligaments and tendons can help alleviate the pain.
It should be noted that research shows a ligament that has been injured will recover only 70 per cent of its prior strength without treatment such as prolotherapy.
Patients have positive responses to prolozone therapy and some even avoid hip or knee replacement surgery altogether.
The questions patients need to ask: Can I live with the pain and discomfort until my surgery? Should I consider alternative treatments and therapies in the meantime?
Prolotherapy and/or prolozone might be effective in treating:
- Upper and lower back pain
- Avoiding hip or knee replacement surgery
- Loose joints
- Frozen shoulder
- Damaged knee ligaments
- Pain of the foot, plantar fasciitis
- Tennis elbow
- Sprained wrist
- Chronic ankle sprain
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
- Lumbar disc herniation
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Sports injuries
- Neck pain
PRP treatment might be ideal for treating:
- Whiplash injuries
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Migraine headaches
- Pain related to osteoarthritis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ Disorder)
- Knee arthritis and meniscal injury
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Tendinopathy, tendonosis
- Joint capsular laxity