Of all the joints in your body, your knee takes on most of the daily wear-and-tear. It’s no wonder, then, that your knees ache more and more with every step.
Dr. Raul Lopez, a double board-certified pain medicine specialist and anesthesiologist, and our team at West Texas Pain Institute know how frustrating and debilitating knee pain can be. We offer only the best pain management treatments to help you live without nagging knee pain. Below, we’re taking a closer look at knee pain and its possible treatments.
How your knee works
Your knee is one of the largest and most complex parts of your anatomy. It joins the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia), along with the smaller bone in your lower leg called the fibula and the patella which makes up your knee joint.
A network of tendons connects the muscles in your legs to the bones, while ligaments keep these bones from sliding out of place. When all of these tissues work together properly, they stabilize your knee and allow it to flex and extend.
Common causes of knee pain
Because this intricate joint connects two of the longest, most powerful mechanical levers in your body, there is a substantial amount of force acting on and around your knee. This means that your knee is extremely vulnerable to injury and other painful conditions.
Some of the most common causes of knee pain include:
- ACL injuries
- Torn meniscus
- Knee bursitis
- Patellar tendonitis
- Mechanical problems like a dislocated kneecap
Additionally, a number of factors increase your risk of living with knee pain, including excess weight, lack of flexibility and strength, certain activities and occupations, and previous knee injuries.
While not every case of knee pain is serious, leaving even mild pain untreated can lead to irreparable joint damage, disability, or future injuries.
Treating your knee pain
When your knees ache and throb, there’s no substitute for Dr. Lopez’s expertise. He begins by evaluating your symptoms, conducting a series of physical exams and imaging tests, and discussing your medical history with you.
Once he’s determined what’s causing your knee pain, he creates your customized treatment plan.
We offer comprehensive pain management treatments that address your unique needs. Here are some of the most common knee pain treatments we offer.
This minimally invasive procedure “shuts off” malfunctioning nerves that send erroneous pain signals to your brain. Guided by a special type of X-ray that uses contrast called fluoroscopy, Dr. Lopez uses a thin wire to deliver the power of radiofrequency energy to your nerves.
In a matter of seconds, the damaged nerves are defused and no longer able to send pain signals to your brain. You’ll leave our office on your feet and return to your normal routine within a day or two, with less knee pain.
Stem cell therapy
Stem cell therapy involves harvesting stem cells from your body and injecting them into your knee. Stem cells are neutral cells that can transform into virtually any kind of cell in your body.
This means that they can become bone, muscle, and other connective tissue cells to restore damage caused by injury or disease. With your cells restored, you feel much less knee pain.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections are similar to stem cell therapy, but instead of using stem cells, PRP uses the power of the cells in your blood.
Your blood contains a high concentration of healing factors called platelets. To separate these platelets from the rest of your blood, we take your blood sample and place it in a machine called a centrifuge. The machine spins your sample until the platelets are all that remain.
Dr. Lopez prepares the platelet solution and injects it directly into your painful knee. The platelets then get to work rebuilding your joint and relieving your pain from within.
Don’t spend another day walking around with knee pain. See how Dr. Lopez can help by contacting our office today.