Osteoarthritis, or OA, is one of the most common types of arthritis and is especially prevalent in the knee. For years, general physicians recommended long-term (often lifelong) pain medication management for OA but a lot of patients understandably want to avoid that route. Pain medication such as opioids have a high risk of dependency, particularly when used for chronic conditions. That’s why Integrated Pain Consultants specializes in providing a suite of pain treatment options for all types of pain, including OA.
Understanding the progression of OA using the latest technology is also a critical part of holistic OA treatment. The latest functional bone imaging technology has shown that bone metabolism is elevated in those with knee OA to an abnormal level. This information allows pain specialist to better assess exactly how far the knee joint has degenerated. The full research related to this novel bone imaging was shared at the 2020 Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.
OA is the most common joint disorder in the country, affecting over 32.5 million American adults. It presents as an overall degradation and loss of soft tissue in the knee, including the cartilage. This leads to bone marrow lesions and ultimately osteophytes. You will find OA most commonly in the knees, hands, and hips and it results in a lower quality of life and productivity.
Traditionally, MRIs have been the best way to assess how much OA has degenerated a joint. The latest functional bone imaging promises better, clearer results than any MRI image could manage. It isn’t readily available yet, but the research shows that it will help doctors understand the actual order of events that causes degeneration of the knee.
So, what can you do right now if you have knee pain from OA? Start by working with a pain specialist who understands the nuances of OA. There are current treatments beyond medication management for knee OA including radiofrequency ablation, joint injections, and viscosupplementation. Schedule a detailed evaluation at Integrated Pain Consultants today for fast, effective relief.