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Injections for Knee Pain: Understand Your Options

Aching, painful knees are a common complaint for people of all ages. Knee pain is related to a wide variety of issues, including sports injuries, overuse, arthritis, and sedentary lifestyles. 

The good news? A pain medicine specialist can help relieve your discomfort and restore your mobility without surgery.

John S. Michels, MD, is a world renowned pain management physician who has been named one of the best doctors in Dallas, Texas. As a former NFL Super Bowl champion, who experienced a career-ending knee injury, he has a unique view of pain and a high level of empathy regarding its debilitating effects on your life.

Dr. Michels is passionate about relieving your pain and restoring your ability to lead a healthy and active life. The treatment strategies he designs are innovative, highly effective, and developed to fit your needs and circumstances. 

Learn why this award-winning specialist may recommend injections for your knee pain.

Understanding knee pain

Knee pain is a quite common complaint, but the underlying cause is as diverse as the individuals who experience it. To be effective, a treatment strategy should address the symptoms as well as the issue driving the pain.

Causes of sudden (acute) knee pain include:

Conditions that lead to long-term (chronic) knee pain include:

Sports activities, excessive weight gain, and even a lack of physical activity can cause problems with pain and stiffness in the knee joint.

Injections for knee pain

Dr. Michels uses a variety of therapies to address knee pain, which may include knee injections.  These injections contain various substances that are designed to address internal joint issues responsible for your discomfort.

Intra-articular steroid injections, for instance, reduce inflammation that leads to the knee pain and swelling associated with various forms of arthritis. These injections may also contain a numbing agent that temporarily relieves pain as the steroid takes effect.

Another type of injection delivers a synthetic form of a naturally occurring lubricating substance (hyaluronic acid) to the knee joint. These injections help decrease pain by restoring smooth, friction-free movement within the joint, which is often affected by wear-and-tear damage to cartilage that’s caused by osteoarthritis.

Treatment can also be directed towards the genicular nerves, the nerves that send the pain signals from your knee to your brain. A diagnostic block of these nerves is performed under x-ray guidance, where a small needle is inserted and numbing medication is injected around these nerves. If the patient receives significant relief of their pain from the diagnostic block, then radiofrequency ablation of these nerves can be performed. Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure performed under x-ray guidance where a special needle that heats up is inserted next to the nerves in order to burn the nerve sheaths and  eliminate the knee pain. The procedure takes about 10 minutes and the patient is able to walk out of the clinic afterwards. 

Regenerative medicine for knee pain

Newer, more innovative types of knee injections use regenerative medicine techniques to address the underlying causes of knee pain. 

These may include:

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)

The platelets in a PRP injection release growth factors and other natural substances that stimulate new tissue production and accelerate healing.

Stem cell injections

Stem cell injections promote healing by using your body’s natural regenerative abilities to replicate and produce new cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and other tissue structures within the knee joint.

Regardless of what’s causing your joint pain, Dr. Michels works to create an individualized treatment strategy that addresses your symptoms as well as the underlying issue. Schedule a visit with Dr. Michels today. Call the office at 214-380-5724 or request an appointment online.

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