Over the past five years, the number of joint replacement surgeries performed annually has increased drastically in Canada. In fact, between 2017 and 2018, as many as 70,000 knee replacement surgeries were performed nationwide.
Are you suffering from knee pain and fear you may need a joint replacement surgery in the near future? Here’s what you can do to prevent that from happening.
It’s no secret; physical exercise helps in strengthening your muscles and preventing cartilage damage. This is particularly true for those individuals who have knee osteoarthritis and are experiencing cartilage degeneration. Exercising on a regular basis can slow down the degeneration process and prevent the chances of needing surgery.
Studies have shown that patients who have larger quadriceps (thigh muscles) are at a lower risk of requiring knee joint replacement surgery. Physical exercise that strengthens the thigh and knee muscles such as cycling, swimming, or Pilates improve your circulation and keep the cartilage strong.
On the other hand, not participating in physical exercise can exacerbate the condition and increase the likeliness of requiring joint replacement surgery.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
According to research conducted by Harvard, you can exert pressure up to six times your weight on your knees as you perform ordinary body motions. This additional force causes excess stress on the knee joints, resulting in cartilage damage or loss. The results are painful, making you an eligible candidate for a further painful procedure, i.e. knee joint replacement surgery.
This is why it’s crucial that you maintain a healthy weight and make an effort to shed a few pounds if your weight doesn’t align with your BMI. Even losing 10 pounds if you’re overweight can make a huge difference, as it can help reduce up to 60 pounds worth of pressure exerted on your knees. While weight loss doesn’t replace the loss of cartilage, it can slow down the degeneration process by lowering the joint stress and help you avoid surgery.
Opt for PRP Injection Therapy
An excellent alternative to risky and invasive surgical procedures is regenerative injection therapy. Platelet rich plasma is used as the natural biological component to aid healing and reconstruction of the knee cartilage through the high concentration of growth factors present in the platelets.
Several studies have pointed out the efficacy of PRP treatment for knee osteoarthritis. The results have indicated that this minimally invasive procedure not only reduces the pain and stiffness experienced by patients, but also has minimal potential complications unlike knee joint replacement surgeries.
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