Knee Osteoarthrits Treatments: A Cost Comparison
A common misconception we hear from patients is that they think their pain will eventually go away. It’s true that some days can be less painful than others, but that does not mean the problem causing the pain has gone away. In fact, the longer you put off treatment, the more damage is done to the knee joint.
Knee pain can be shown as a variety of symptoms such as swelling, popping, locking, stiffness, and buckling. All of these symptoms are probable cause to seek an evaluation from a knee specialist. Early detection provides more treatment options than the later stages, as well as a lower likelihood of needing knee replacement surgery.
What are the options?
If you are diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis (OA), even though it is not curable, there are several treatment options available that can help you control the pain and maintain an active lifestyle.
- HA injections (joint fluid therapy)
- Health Supplements
- PRP (platelet rich plasma) Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Total Knee Replacement
Not every knee needs an operation, a vast majority of our patients, especially those who catch it early, do not require surgery to get rid of their pain and keep or increase their mobility. If surgery sounds more your style, there are a few different kinds, today we are focusing on the total knee replacement surgical procedure.
Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Total knee replacement surgery – also known as knee arthroplasty is a procedure performed when a patient’s knee has degraded to the point where it no longer functions properly and causes severe, unbearable pain. Most commonly, knee replacement surgery is necessary for patients who suffer from severe osteoarthritis and have gotten to a point where they are no longer mobile. A few facts for your consideration:
- After the operation, patients remain under hospitalization for 3-7 days.
- Following the operation, a patient must go through rehabilitation exercises once the initial healing process has begun.
- In most cases patients are able to function relatively normally 2-12 months after surgery.
- On average, a knee replacement will last about 10 years. Which means younger individuals who have knee replacements will need additional surgeries for the remainder of their lifetime.
- The likelihood of complications rise with each successive surgery and the age of the patient.
Depending on if you need one knee replaced or two, it can cost between $40,000-$100,000. This does not include the cost rehab, which is 100% essential in a successful knee replacement and can last an entire year.
Non- Surgical Treatment
To learn more about HA injections, read some of our previous blogs:
- What is Hyaluronic acid and how does it help your knee pain?
- What are the different types of Hyaluronan?
- Steroid injections vs. Hyaluronic Acid injections for OA
Think of it like insulin for a diabetic, you need to take it regularly to be healthy. So, here’s the big question…what does it cost? Depending on whether you need injections in both knees or just one, a series of injections costs between $1500-$3500. However, even with moderate insurance coverage most patients pay less than half that. For those with excellent, or double coverage we’ve seen patients pay less than $100 for a series of injections in both knees. As it is a medication and not a cure, repeat series are needed. However, at that cost, you could receive injections twice a year for decades before you came close to the cost of a knee replacement surgery.
Not everyone is a candidate for HA injections or PRP therapy. Some patients are able to receive injections for a few years, and may eventually need a knee replacement surgery. We’ve even helped patients get out of pain to lose weight so that they can become a candidate for surgery. It’s important to understand that you have options regarding your knee health, and a second opinion never hurts!