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Knee Pain Treatment Options

Knee pain is the most common musculoskeletal complaint among adults. As you age your knees can show significant wear and tear, especially in adults with arthritis, sports injuries, or other types of injury.

The knee relies on a number of structures including bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage to bear your body weight and perform properly. Technology and surgical innovation make a wide variety of knee pain treatment options available. Our team approach ensures you will receive the highest quality care, getting you back to your full functional ability quickly and safely. 

Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Knee Pain

Most common soft-tissue injuries are usually caused by over use or stress. Prior to suggesting surgical interventions, we exhaust all noninvasive approaches to control inflammation and help control pain.

Physical Therapy 

  • Bracing
  • Compression – heat/cold devices
  • Injectable modalities  
  • Topical modalities


  • Steroids
  • Viscoelastic

Orthopedic Surgery Treatment Options

When non-surgical treatments are exhausted or your quality of life is impaired, your doctor will work with you to select the best surgical treatment option for an optimal outcome.

Minimally Invasive Total Knee Replacement

When the knee joint is beyond repair, a total knee replacement may be the only alternative. Knee replacement surgery replaces the cartilage with an artificial surface, similar to capping a tooth. The knee itself is not replaced, but rather 8-10 millimeters of surface is replaced on the end of the bones. This is done with a metal alloy on the femur and tibia, placement of a plastic spacer in between and resurfacing of the kneecap. This creates a new, smooth cushion and a functioning joint that does not hurt. A total knee replacement is recommended when a patient has at least two of the following indications: 

  • At least two of the three compartments of the knee have moderate to advanced arthritis
  • Arthritis pain adversely affects quality of life
  • All conservative measures have been exhausted
  • Osteonecrosis diagnosis


Osteotomy, or reshaping of the tibia or femur bone, can take pressure off the knee. This may be considered for younger people with unresolved arthritis symptoms. This procedure attempts to even the load distribution through the knee.

Arthroscopic and other Procedures

Using an arthroscope, a fiber optic telescope inserted into knee joint, surgeons are able to see knee damage and may also be able to repair damage or remove irritating particles. The procedure takes less than one hour and requires three or four entry incisions which can be closed with little or no scarring.

Arthroscopy works well for:

  • Arthroscopic surgery of the menisci
  • Arthroscopic anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair, posterior cruciate ligament (PLC) repair
  • Surface cartilage repair, including Osteoarticular Transfer System (OATS) procedure, micro fracture, cartilage transplant (carticel)

Request An Appointment With the Saint Francis Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute

For more information about the Saint Francis Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute or to schedule an appointment, please call (415) 353-6380, or email [email protected] or request an appointment online today.