Knee Arthritis Treatment Philosophy

Knee Arthritis Treatment Philosophy

The team at Shelbourne Knee Center helps people with knee arthritis get off the sidelines and back to living, working and playing.

By focusing only on knees, we have extensive experience treating osteoarthritis:

More than 1,500 patients with knee arthritis treated … and counting

Our knee arthritis treatment focuses on what works best, based on 40+ years of research and follow-up with our patients.

What is Knee Arthritis?

Healthy joints have a layer of cartilage lining the bone surfaces. Osteoarthritis occurs when this cartilage breaks down and the joint space becomes narrowed.

Osteoarthritis affects weight-bearing joints such as the hips, knees, and spine. The pain may worsen after repetitive use (walking or standing), or after periods of inactivity (sitting or sleeping).

Possible causes of arthritis include:

  • Genetic predisposition.
  • Previous knee injury/surgery.
  • Repetitive high impact activities.

What are The Symptoms of Knee Arthritis?

Common symptoms of knee arthritis are:

  • Pain.
  • Stiffness.
  • Problems straightening and bending your knee (range of motion).
  • Swelling.
  • “Creaking” or grinding noise.

The Best Way to Treat Knee Arthritis

Treatment for knee arthritis focuses on relieving your pain and other symptoms and helping you function better. Ways to treat knee arthritis include:

  • Physical therapy.
  • Other non-surgical treatments including medications or knee injections.
  • Total Knee Replacement Surgery.

Knee arthritis treatment at Shelbourne Knee Center focuses on what works best, based on our research. Our approach includes:

  • Conservative Treatment that focuses on physical therapy to restore your range of motion and strength in your knee. Range of motion is your ability to straighten and bend your knee. This will help improve your overall function. We may also pair this treatment with other conservative treatments such as medications or cortisone injections that will help relieve pain and allow you to make better progress in therapy. If you continue to have knee pain despite improving the motion and strength of your knee, we will then consider a knee replacement surgery.
  • Total Knee Replacement Surgery that minimizes pain and swelling and facilitates healing. We have patients on a bedrest period for one week following surgery to minimize knee swelling which results in better pain control and increased range of motion.
  • Post-Operative Physical Therapy you will work closely with your physical therapist on an individualized rehab program where you will first work on improving range of motion and minimizing swelling. Once you have gained full range of motion, you will begin to progress with strengthening so that you can return to normal daily functioning.

The Results You Want

We understand that you want to feel better, and you don’t really want to have surgery. So we focus on specialized physical therapy for knee arthritis.

  • 76% of our patients didn’t need knee replacement surgery after completing physical therapy at Shelbourne Knee Center.

If you do need a knee replacement, physical therapy before surgery will help you have a better result and an easier recovery, so you can return to being you faster.

Convenient, Team-Based Care

Orthopedic surgeons K. Donald Shelbourne, MD, and Rodney Benner, MD, lead our team. They work closely with our physical therapists to give you the best knee care.

You’ll work with the same physical therapist throughout your rehabilitation process. Your therapist will customize a research-based rehab program for you. You’ll complete most of the therapy at home, with periodic visits to our center, which has a fully equipped rehab gym.

Your physical therapist will guide you through the entire process, including:

  • Helping you understand what you need to do to have a good result.
  • Preparing you for surgery, if this is the best option for you.
  • Guiding you through post-operative rehabilitation.

All physical therapists and athletic trainers are part of our research program. They work with our doctors to continually improve the rehab program.

For your convenience, we also have an X-ray department in our center.

Help Us Improve Care for Other Patients

Our current treatment of arthritis is based on our research. We’ve learned what works best by following patients after they finish their rehab.

If you choose Shelbourne Knee Center for your arthritis care, we hope that you will be part of our research so we can help other patients in the future.

You can do this by taking our annual survey and if you’ve had surgery, coming back for free follow-up visits at:

  • 2 years after your surgery.
  • 5 years after your surgery.
  • 10 years after your surgery.
  • 15 years after your surgery.