Knee and hip pain is a very frustrating and common problem. While there are various causes of knee and hip pain, the most common is simply degeneration as we grow older. This is called osteoarthritis of the knee or hip. It is different from a tear of the meniscus, which is a common cause of knee pain in younger people. In osteoarthritis, you have loss of the meniscus and pain in the joint. Osteoarthritis of the knee and hip is a very common disease caused by aging.
The first step of osetoarthritis therapy is exercise and over the counter medications. Sometimes, you need stronger medications, such as hydrocodone. Injections into the knee with local anesthetic and steroids, under ultrasound, are useful are well. If they do not relieve your pain, you should talk to your doctor about injections into the knee with hyaluronic acid, which is also called Supartz and Hyalgan. All of these are effective, important therapies, which are an important part of treating osteoarthritis of the knee.
If you do not respond to conservative therapy, you may consider seeing an orthopedic surgeon about possible hip or knee surgery. Hip and knee surgery has advanced to a very high degree and is a good way to treat osteoarthritis. Surgery is not perfect, however. The artificial joints can wear out over time. Some people do not want to have surgery. Sometimes, patients are concerned that they are so young that they will have to have repeat surgery, something which they want to avoid. Others feel that they are too old to undergo the rehabilitation that follows after having knee or hip surgery.
Cooled radiofrequency ablation of the knees or hips is a minimally invasive, safe, effective means of controlling pain in those areas. For those who are not candidates for knee or hip surgery, cooled radiofrequency ablation is an important option.