Invasive Non-Arthroplasty Treatment Options for Knee Osteoarthritis: Review

Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics | Vol 8 | Issue 1 |  Jan-Jun 2023 | page: 08-17 | Rohan G Reddy, YuChia Wang, Ryan Scully, Savyasachi C Thakkar

DOI: :10.13107/jcorth.2023.v08i01.549

Author: Rohan G Reddy [1], YuChia Wang [2], Ryan Scully [3], Savyasachi C Thakkar [4]

[1] Orthopaedic Research Collaborative (ORC); Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States, ,
[2] Orthopaedic Research Collaborative (ORC);Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia, United States,
[3] Orthopaedic Research Collaborative (ORC); Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, California, United States,

[4] Orthopaedic Research Collaborative (ORC); Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States.

Address of Correspondence
Dr. Rohan G Reddy,

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States.



Introduction: Knee osteoarthritis (KOA) is one of the most common joint diseases in the world, such that there exists a variety of treatment methods, ranging from conservative treatments such as physical therapy and weight loss to total replacement of the diseased joint. Invasive non-arthroplasty treatment methods are growing in popularity and this review aims to explore the current literature. Better understanding of these alternatives could allow orthopedic surgeons and primary care providers to offer poor arthroplasty candidates meaningful symptomatic relief.

Materials and Methods: A literature review using PubMed, Google Scholar, and SCOPUS was performed to examine the following invasive non-arthroplasty treatment options: Corticosteroid injections (CS), viscosupplementation, platelet-rich plasma injections, stem cell injections, ozone therapy, prolotherapy, radiofrequency nerve ablation (RFA), arthroscopy, and osteotomy. Articles with complete data on the outcomes following these treatment methods were included in the study.

Results: CSs showed strong efficacy in providing short-term pain relief, while viscosupplementation and platelet-rich plasma have shown to be effective in long-term management as well. Aside from the more common injectable treatment options, newer options such as stem cell injection and ozone therapy have shown clinical efficacy while prolotherapy and RFA are still early-stage treatment options. Still, further studies are required to better assess these emerging therapies. Operatively, arthroscopic surgery has shown to be minimally effective while osteotomy demonstrated effective pain and functional improvement.

Conclusion: Multiple therapeutic options exist for invasive management of KOA to a different degree of effectiveness and efficacy. We have analyzed the outcomes of multiple invasive non-arthroplasty treatment options for KOA. This review can better inform patients and surgeons of the pros and cons of different KOA treatment methods. Newer conservative options may have positive clinical implications but will require further investigation. Operative alternatives to arthroplasty can provide symptomatic relief but may increase the associated risk and complexity should the need for arthroplasty ever arises.

Keywords: Total knee arthroplasty, injections, radiofrequency nerve ablation, arthroscopy, osteotomy.


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How to Cite this article: Reddy RG, Wang Y, Scully R, Thakkar SC. Invasive Non-arthroplasty Treatment Options for Knee Osteoarthritis: Review. Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics Jan-Jun 2023;8(1):08-17.

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