The knee is a complex joint that consists of bone, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons, which help in joint movements. Knee problems may arise if any of these structures get injured by overuse, trauma or during sports activities. These may impair your mobility as well as your quality of life.
Treatment Options for Knee Injuries
All these conditions require appropriate treatment - surgical or non-surgical to restore you to your normal activities. The nonoperative orthopedic treatment options include non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions. They are aimed at providing symptomatic relief. and can be suggested to treat certain conditions, promote functioning and quality of life after the surgical treatment.
Pharmacological Interventions for Knee Injuries
Pharmacological interventions include medicinal preparations such as pain-relieving capsules or injections.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: These are known as NSAIDs and are found to be effective in reducing pain and inflammation in the knee. Caution must be taken while using NSAIDs from overdosing as they are known to cause hepatotoxicity (harmful to the liver). Patients with liver diseases must take extreme care while using them. They can cause a range of side effects, chances of which increase with the concomitant use of diuretics, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin 2 receptor blockers, anticoagulants or oral corticosteroids.
- Weak and strong opioids: Opioids are prescribed when the use of analgesic medications or NSAIDs do not offer symptomatic pain relief if other treatments have intolerable side effects or surgery is delayed or contraindicated. Though they offer better pain relief, they are known to cause side effects such as dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and constipation. An overdose may lead to respiratory depression. The dose is reduced slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms. They are also known to be addictive.
- Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and biological agents: Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) aim at halting the progression of the disease and offer symptomatic relief. Biological agents are the antibodies against the disease-causing agents manufactured using genetic engineering technology. These agents are recommended for severe disease conditions.