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How can stiffness, pain and swelling of the knee be treated?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 4941 Questions
I'm a 57 year old female with severe osteoathritis (bone on bone in the inner section and a plug of cartilage on the outer part) of the knee. I developed water in the knee last December (2016) and had knee effusion due to overseas travel.
I'm still (even after one year) experiencing swelling/filling-up of fluid, in addition to total stiffness of the knee.
The pain is at times unbearable. I find it difficult to get-up after sleeping or sitting for a period of time. I also find it impossible to climb up/down steps. My leg gait is also turning outward which makes it awkward to walk.
I'm reluctant to go for knee replacement as it only covers a period of (at most) 15 years and so believe it's too early (at 57 years).
What should I do? What are the reccommendations and also cure? What medicines should I take? Should I go for knee effusion again? Will stem cell or plasma rich platelet therapy eliminate the problem? What are the new discoveries/therapies for osteoathritis?
Thank you

Sat, 17 Mar 2018 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 6 hours later
Brief Answer:
Multiple approaches to treat knee osteoarthritis

Detailed Answer:

I understand your concern.

Severe cases of knee osteoarthritis associated with swelling, recommendations as following:
- non steroidal antiinflammatory meds ( including Ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, etc)
- always use stomach meds as they might cause hyperacidity issues of the stomach
- apply cold compressess locally as the knee is swollen
- wear knee support brace to reduce the pain when moving
- apply antiinflammatory cream or gel locally
- old folks used to apply chopped onion with coarse salt locally. Try it hopefully it will give good results as for my patients
- take glucosamine, and hialurinic acid supplements for inflammation
- sometimes, injecting hialurinic acid inside the knee can help. This is not steroid
- physiotherapy with local massage can help

As you may see, there are multiple approaches. I hope they will work for you.

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