Therapy and treatment

Dr. Hartmut Stinus talks about osteoarthritis of the knee

Dr. med. Hartmut Stinus, specialist for orthopedics and accident surgery in Northeim, Germany, explains the causes, diagnosis and treatment of osteoarthritis in the knee.

Pain, pain go away

Conservative treatment options are often chosen as a first step in treating knee osteoarthritis. The goal is to relieve pain, improve mobility, and delay the progression of the condition. Several conservative treatment options exist:

  • A balanced diet
  • Low-impact exercises
  • Orthotic devices (braces and supports)
  • Pain medication

Healthy knees start with a healthy diet and exercise program. To help prevent osteoarthritis and aid in the treatment of osteoarthritis, adopt new healthy habits – do it for the sake of your knees!

Take a load off

Take a load off

Orthotic devices for osteoarthritis of the knee normally refer to braces and supports. These are applied externally, usually to the knee.

Indirect approach

The Agilium Freestep uses an ankle-foot device to shift the weight bearing line to a healthy area of cartilage for pain relief.

The role of an Orthotist

Proper fitting of orthotic devices by an Orthotist can help ensure you get the most out of your osteoarthritis orthotic device and achieve maximum pain relief. An Orthotist is a medical professional uniquely trained in the fitting of orthotic devices to treat knee osteoarthritis like the Agilium Freestep. Orthotists work with your physician to ensure you achieve the best possible fit and outcome.

A hard pill to swallow

A hard pill to swallow

Osteoarthritis patients can consume as many as 2,000 pain relieving pills per year costing between $500 and $5,000. Both over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers are available for the treatment of osteoarthritis. But these non-invasive options can include side effects.

Over-the-counter pain killers

Several over-the-counter pain relievers exist including analgesics like Tylenol which contain acetaminophen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil, Aleeve, Anacin, Aspirin, Bayer, and Motrin. Common side effects of NSAIDs include stomach irritation, gastrointestinal bleeding, heart attack, and stroke.

Prescription drugs

There are several prescription NSAIDs available as well including Clinoril, Disalcid, Feldene, Indocin, Lodine, Mobic, and Relafen. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires warning labels on these prescription drugs to include risks like gastrointestinal bleeding, heart attack, and stroke. Cox-2 Inhibitors were developed as an alternative to traditional NSAIDs; however, the FDA still requires warning labels on these products to include risk of cardiovascular side effects and gastrointestinal bleeding. The only Cox-2 Inhibitor on the market for the treatment of osteoarthritis is Celebrex.