Knee replacement surgery is becoming a common trend among a younger age group. As a procedure that was exclusive to older adults, osteoarthritis is starting to appear more in patients aged 20-50 years old. The reoccurring trend is related to sports injuries, overuse and deterioration.
According the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS), there will be a 670 percent increase in total knee replacements (artificial joints) by 2030. This growing trend could include you, unless you take the necessary steps to avoid it.
One of the best things you can do is check out this list of tips and tricks that can help improve your knee health and sustain your joints
- Safe and sustainable weight loss
You body has enough work to do without the extra pressure from unnecessary weight. In order to lighten your load and ease up on fragile joints, try dropping some pounds. According to The Huffington Post, every pound of weight you lose equals four pounds on the knee. So losing just 5 pounds equals 20 pounds of pressure off the knee. Losing weight can also make regular activity less strenuous and more fun to participate in.
- Strengthen your Quadriceps
One of the best ways to prevent knee damage is to strengthen your quadriceps. According to the Huffington Post, a recent Australian study showed that patients with thicker quadricep muscles developed less cartilage damage and sustained their knee joints longer.
These patients were at a lower risk for receiving joint replacement surgery when compared to those with smaller quadriceps muscles over four years. Some of the best ways to strengthen your quadriceps without putting too much stress on the knee include swimming, biking, Pilates and yoga.
- Hyaluronic acid (HA) injection
While this procedure sounds quite painful and intimidating, it can actually help your knee feel a whole lot better! This popular treatment is used in plastic surgery to fill in unwanted wrinkles. It is also FDA approved for injection into painful knee joints. It works to regulate inflammation and provides cushioning between the cartilage of the knee. If you’re looking to prevent knee problems before they start, HA injection works best as a proactive treatment for relieving mild arthritis in the knee.
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection
This procedure was made popular by professional athletes like Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods. As a blood-spinning procedure, it works by using your body’s own proteins to heal damage in the knee naturally. According to http://orthoinfo.aaos.org, PRP is plasma with a high platelet count, higher than the number of platelets found in human blood. Since the concentration count it so high, it works to heal damage in the body at higher rates.
- Stem Cell Injections
Stem cells are designed with specialized functions to heal and restore specific parts of the body. They can heal the brain, heart, muscles and bones. The can also heal the knee and prevent a patient from getting unnecessary surgery. Stem cell therapy can help relieve a number of conditions such as arthritis, tendonitis, instability and general deterioration. It works by replacing damaged cells with new ones that will grow and serve the function of the knee joint over time.
By consulting with your doctor you can decide which treatment is right for you and your knee before serious problems start.