Knee Injury Treatments
The good news is that most minor knee injuries will heal with simple home conservative treatments and surgery is often not needed! Most doctors, physicians and orthopedic specialists will recommend conservative therapy for before considering surgery. This is why surgery is only performed as a last resort.
Some conservative treatment methods recommended include:
- Rest - This is important for initial healing because without an correct amount of rest you are at risk for increased inflammation, pain and re-injury.
- Cold Compression - Immediate cold compression will allow you to manage pain while getting rid of swelling, inflammation and edema in your knee.
- Soft Tissue Repair Therapy (STR Therapy) - You can use your own blood flow to maximize your rehabilitation, decrease recovery time, and boost overall long-term healing.
Treatment only differs slightly person to person depending on the type of injury you have and your activity level.
Safe, Effective Conservative Treatment Options are Available
If your physican has decided that your injury can be treated with conservative treatment, you can join our many customers who have had great success treating themselves with the powerful, conservative treatment products we offer through MendMyKnee - the Knee T•Shellz Wrap®.
If surgical intervention is required, talk to your physican about using these same products for post-surgery recovery as you will find them to be effective for reducing post-surgery inflammation, enhancing range of motion and minimizing scar tissue growth. To learn more about post-knee surgery treatments and rehabilitation, go here
Step 1 - Cold Compression
Symptoms of pain and swelling are shared with both chronic and acute injuries. In either case, cold compression is recommended to help control inflammation, swelling and pain. Using Cold Compression immediately following a knee injury or re-injury reduces pain and swelling and reduces the amount of damage to the tissue that occurs with soft tissue injuries.
Using a simple conservative treatment such as cold compression to treat your knee injury will reduce swelling to "open up" the area for more blood flow. It will also slow nerve and cell function in the knee (and reduce pain). This is important because once blood vessels are damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood to the meniscus and tissue cells begin to break-down.
Anyone in the health-care business knows that your blood supplies the oxygen and much needed nutrients required to heal any soft tissue injuries. This is why for years doctors, trainers and other medical professional have recommended RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to treat the pain and swelling of fresh injuries, chronic pain, and after any re-injury.
Cold Compression Therapy slows nerve and cell function - reducing the swelling that blocks blood vessels from doing their job.
This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through the tissue and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold compression therapy cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells don't get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your meniscus, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal any soft tissue injuries faster and with less pain! This is why you need to treat your knee pain right after it's hurt, when you notice pain / swelling / inflammation, or directly after a re-injury. Applying a Cold Compress or Ice Pack right away will stop the damage immediately and unblock your blood vessels to let your body's natural blood flow in to start healing the tissue.
We have tools that will help you to prevent and treat the symptoms of knee related injuries When it comes to your injured knee, it's best to start effective long term healing right away. Our Advisers are highly trained individuals and will help find the long term healing goal that's right for YOU.
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Step 2 - Soft Tissue Repair Therapy
The Knee T•Shellz Wrap®) is a home medical device that is intended to reduce chronic knee pain, to warm up tissue prior to activity, to relax tense muscles, and ultimately, to speed tissue healing.
This wrap increases blood flow in soft tissue. Blood flow transports vital nutrients to injured cells to promote your body's natural healing process. In addition, the fresh blood flow whisks away dead cells and toxins that have built up from the injury leaving the area clean and able to heal faster.
After the inflammation and swelling in your knee is gone you can begin to treat your injury with STR Therapy. Our Knee T•Shellz Wrap® provides effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief and increased blood flow to accelerate the body's own recovery process.
Knee surgery may be inevitable for some conditions, such as locked knee and when the blood supply to the joint is compromised. However, in many cases it is optional and the decision to undergo surgery or use non-surgical methods depends on the injury, desired activity level, risk of future injury and the patient's motivation to work through rehabilitation.
Arthroscopic surgery is used to improve symptoms of a variety of knee injuries and diseases. With small incisions, surgeons are able to reconstruct torn ligaments, remove loose material within the joint, and repair damaged cartilage.
Although arthroscopic surgery has been a popular treatment for osteoarthritis, a recent study completed at the University of Western Ontario and the Lawson Health Research Institute in Canada challenges its effectiveness. In the study, published in the September 11, 2008 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers treated 2 groups of osteoarthritis patients with medication and physical therapy, but only 1 of the groups with arthroscopic surgery as well. Patients of each group reported comparable improvements in pain, movement and function suggesting surgery had no additional therapeutic value over non-surgical methods. Although arthroscopic surgery may be useful for patients with ACL or meniscal tears, researchers recommend osteoarthritis patients pursue conservative treatment methods before considering surgery.
Knee replacement surgery may be necessary if non-surgical methods fail to improve severe symptoms of arthritis or other degenerative conditions. The surgeon removes any damaged cartilage and bone and replaces it with a metal or plastic prosthesis. Partial replacement is used if some healthy cartilage still remains and only the damaged portion needs to be replaced. A total knee replacement often has better long-term results but does take longer to heal.
Corticosteroid, or cortisone, injections ease the pain of osteoarthritis by lubricating the joints where cartilage has been reduced. Injections can minimize the symptoms of a flare up for a few months at a time, however, they are not effective for everyone. You should see results after the first injection to know whether it is an effective treatment for you. Some risks of cortisone injections include higher blood sugar levels, an increased risk of infection and potential weakening of tissue.
Hyaluronic acid injections have also been known to control inflammation for several months at a time. The hyaluronic acid, naturally found in joints, is injected through a series of shots to provide lubrication and allow movement without pain.
Physical therapy is prescribed to patients recovering from surgery or needing to strengthen the muscles around the knee. Physical therapy begins by re-establishing the knee's full range of motion.
Next, strength building exercises are incorporated to increase stability and improve balance. Finally, the patient is given ongoing exercises to strengthen muscles and prevent future injury.
Increasing the strength in your hamstring and quadriceps muscles improves the stability of your knee joint and helps to relieve some of the force your knees carry everyday.
Medication and Supplements
Glucosamine and chondroitin are naturally occurring substances found in cartilage. For injuries and disease causing damage to cartilage, such as osteoarthritis and patellar chondromalacia, supplements help to slow the degenerative process and ease some pain.
Topical pain medications may also help you to relieve pain and stiffness due to cartilage deterioration and improve movement in the joint. The topical cream celadrin is applied on the joint and can improve knee function. For pain relief, ask your pharmacist about capsicum or patches containing lidocaine.
Anti-inflammatory and pain medications are used to manage swelling and tenderness at the onset of an injury or flare up. Unfortunately, taking these medications does not treat the source of your pain. Seek a doctor's opinion for the proper dosage and duration for your condition and to discuss side effects.
It is recommended that you see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis of your knee pain before beginning any treatment program. With so many possible sources of knee pain, it is important for you to have an understanding of the cause of your pain to ensure you are treating it appropriately.
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During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. Always consult your doctor and/or Physical Therapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they are right for you and your condition. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!