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Is Joint Preservation Right for You? Los Angeles, CA
knee pain

Chronic joint pain is exhausting, and some patients live with this pain in fear of joint replacement surgery. Thankfully, many patients are great candidates for joint preservation therapies that can delay or prevent joint replacement while restoring joint function and alleviating many painful symptoms. Is joint preservation right for you?

Are You a Good Candidate?

Joint preservation is effective for many patients but not in all cases. Your orthopedic provider will evaluate your physical health, lifestyle and other factors to determine whether you are a good candidate for preservation and which therapies may be most effective. Some of the factors they will consider include the following:

  • Type of joint: Joint preservation is most often used for the knee, hip and shoulder. However, it can be used for nearly any joint affected by pain or injuries. Your provider can directly address your specific condition.
  • Age: Preservation therapies are most effective when started early to help stop or slow the progression of joint deterioration. This means they are typically used for younger patients, but this is not always the case, depending on other candidate factors.
  • Body weight: Being overweight puts a lot of stress on your joints, especially the knees and hips. Your provider may recommend losing weight in conjunction with joint preservation treatment. If your weight may make these therapies ineffective, they may discuss surgery instead.
  • Body conditioning: Weight isn’t the only factor determining how effective joint preservation treatments will be. You don’t need to be athletic, but staying active can help keep your joints as healthy as possible throughout your treatments and could be another preservation method.
  • Severity: If the deterioration has progressed past a certain point, such as bone-to-bone contact or bone weakness, then joint replacement surgery will most likely be the best option to alleviate pain long-term and restore joint function.

What are Your Joint Preservation Options?

There are many joint preservation treatments available, both non-surgical and minimally invasive, that may be able to help delay or prevent a joint replacement. Some may even be combined to improve results over time.

  • Abrasion Arthroplasty: Small surgical tools are used through “keyhole” incisions to shape and clean small areas of cartilage and bone. New fibrocartilage is created by stem cells that come to the surface.
  • Amniotic fluid: This fluid is injected into a joint to help slow cartilage damage. It may improve joint lubrication and reduce inflammation to reduce pain while providing healing benefits.
  • Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI): New cartilage cells are cultured from your own, harvested through an arthroscopic procedure, then implanted back into the joint.
  • Bone marrow concentrate: Bone marrow is harvested from your bone and then concentrated before injecting it into the joint, where it stimulates healing.
  • Drilling: Through small incisions and specialized arthroscopic tools, surgeons drill strategically into the bone where cartilage is thin or damaged. The body then responds by creating scar tissue that can help repair the joint.
  • Hyaluronic acid: This injection helps to replace the synovial fluid that may be low in deteriorating joints. It can be combined with other joint preservation therapies but must be done monthly for consistent results.
  • Microfracture surgery: Microfracture is similar to drilling but works best in patients with minimal and localized deterioration, such as from an injury.
  • Osteochondral autograft transplantation surgery (OATS): During this procedure, damaged bone and cartilage are removed and replaced with healthy grafts from other joints in the body.
  • Platelet-rich plasma: Platelets and other growth factors in the blood help the body repair itself. A patient’s blood is run through a centrifuge to separate these essential elements and then injected into the joint, where they can encourage healing and healthy tissue growth.

If you are suffering from joint pain or have been told to need a joint replacement, call DOCS Health in Los Angeles today to schedule your consultation. Our experienced orthopedic providers will evaluate your condition and create a personalized treatment plan, plus discuss joint preservation treatments that may help you avoid joint replacement surgery.

Posted on behalf of DOCS Health

8436 W. 3rd St, Suite 800
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Phone: (424) 800-3627

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