Repairing knee cartilage without surgery is possible in some cases, particularly for minor injuries or early-stage cartilage damage.
Here are some non-surgical treatment options…
- Physical Therapy – Physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles around the knee joint, improve stability, and alleviate pain. Therapists use exercises, stretches, and manual techniques to improve range of motion and function.
- Weight Management – Maintaining a healthy weight reduces stress on the knee joint, which can help slow down the progression of cartilage damage and alleviate symptoms.
- Activity Modification – Avoiding high-impact activities and reducing activities that exacerbate knee pain can help protect the damaged cartilage and promote healing.
- Bracing – Using knee braces or orthotic devices can provide support, stability, and pain relief by offloading pressure from the affected area.
- Medications – Over-the-counter or prescription medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with cartilage damage.
- Injections – Corticosteroid injections or hyaluronic acid injections may be used to provide temporary relief from knee pain and inflammation. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections or stem cell therapy may also be considered to promote tissue repair and regeneration.
- Supplements – Some supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, are believed to support joint health and cartilage repair. Regardless, evidence of their effectiveness is mixed, and it’s necessary to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.
- Lifestyle Modifications – Incorporating low-impact exercises such as swimming, cycling, or using an elliptical machine can help maintain cardiovascular fitness without placing excessive stress on the knee joint.
- Alternative Therapies – Modalities such as acupuncture, massage therapy, and chiropractic care may provide symptomatic relief for knee pain associated with cartilage damage.
Note that the effectiveness of non-surgical treatments for knee cartilage repair depends on factors such as the extent of the damage, the individual’s age, overall health, and lifestyle factors. In cases of severe cartilage damage or advanced osteoarthritis, surgical interventions such as arthroscopic surgery, microfracture, or cartilage restoration procedures may be necessary to repair or replace damaged cartilage. Consulting with an orthopedic specialist or healthcare professional is crucial to determine the most appropriate treatment approach based on the specific circumstances of the knee injury.