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New Knee, New You: How to Relieve Knee Pain

7/14/2009 12:00:00 AM

Knee pain can add an unnecessary kink to a person’s life, especially during the active summer months. Joint deterioration, often caused by arthritis, has an estimated 19 million Americans living with chronic joint pain.

But there are solutions to this kind of suffering. They include physical therapy, weight loss, cortisone shots and even total knee replacement.

“With an aging population more active and more overweight, many are electing to receive new knees at younger ages,” said Henry Finn, M.D., chief of orthopedic surgery at Weiss Memorial Hospital, medical director of the University of Chicago Bone and Joint Replacement Center at Weiss, and professor of surgery at University of Chicago. “People expect a better quality of life. Advances in today’s technology enable patients to live without knee pain.”

Consider these Healthful Hints from Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago to see if a total knee replacement is needed to treat the pain:

  • Does knee pain keep you up at night? You are not getting a full night’s rest because you wake in pain.
  • Is your daily routine altered? Shopping, running errands, traveling or even picking up your grandchildren are becoming increasingly more painful to accomplish.
  • Have you tried alternative treatments? For many people, using a brace or cane and undergoing physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication or steroid injections will reduce painful joint inflammation and restore function.

If these treatments fail, and the pain still affects your quality of life, talk to your doctor about total knee replacement. Keep in mind that age, overall health and bone density are considered when determining if total knee replacement is right for you.

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