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Knee Osteoarthritis Can Be Treated Without Surgery

      You Zhikai, the attending physician in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of Taipei City Hospital, said that the main symptom of knee osteoarthritis, a health problem troubling many people in Taiwan, is pain in the knees, with varying severity. The pain usually gets worse when one moves the joints longer or it is approaching dusk. When the weather turns from sunny to cloudy and the air pressure suddenly drops, the pressure on the joints will increase, causing swelling and inflammation of the joints, as well as pain and slight stiffness due to the insufficient modulation and buffering of the cartilage.

      A patient, Mr. Jiang, was found to suffer from obvious knee osteoarthritis through an X-ray examination in the Outpatient Department in 2010; he usually had the symptoms of joint stiffness and pain. He started receiving the prolotherapy in 2012 and a new X-ray examination in 2013 found the joint cavity substantially enlarged and the symptoms also relieved.

      Dr. You said that the prolotherapy mainly involves injecting PRP or high concentration glucose solution. While the injection into the joint cavity can facilitate the cartilage hyperplasia, the additional injection in all supporting ligaments outside the joints should also be applied to increase ligament strength. The prolotherapy is really an essential treatment before joint replacement surgery.

      Dr. You emphasized finally that the osteoarthritis is a chronic disease caused by aging or the cumulative abrasion of the joints. The symptoms may strike sometimes and get relieved at other times. Overusing or overtasking within a short period of time will lead to the occurrence or aggravation of the symptoms. The arthritis itself has no specific medicine or speedy treatment. Other than receiving long-term treatment by the doctors, the patients should follow the principles of early detection and early treatment in their daily life.