Posted by Irina
on January 06, 2000 at 19:58:42:
3 months ago, after an MRI scan, I was diagnosed with cartilage tears in one of my knees, caused by osteoarthritis. The pain was not severe but noticeable when walking or weight bearing. The orthopedist suggested 3 options, none of them satisfactory to me: 1) surgery, 2) pain killers, 3) doing nothing. The first is no good because it is too invasive, risky, and not necessarily helpful (even the surgeon admitted that). Taking pain killers is not a constructive solution because it only masks the symptoms. Doing nothing is OK only if there are no symptoms, which was not the case. Well, after some research I learned about Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate and started taking it, and it has been helpful in lessening the pain though not entirely. I also have some mild side effects from it in the form of stomach irritability and occasional constipation.
My question is this. I've heard of some doctors who inject certain substances into the knee in order to heal the cartilage. I'm not sure what those substances are, but I think they're similar to Adequan which is given to horses and dogs for arthritis. The advantage of these injections over oral medication is that they are localized and bypass the digestive tract. I've heard of a doctor in Milwaukee WI and one in S. Dakota who do these injections, but this is too far from where I live (in Minnesota). Does anyone happen to know if there are such physicians in Minnesota?
A related question is: how do I find an orthopedist who is not surgery-oriented? Even though I made the decision to take Glucosamine on my own, I would really prefer to have a course of treatment planned and approved by a specialist, but one who wouldn't push surgery and would be open to innovative and alternatie treatments.
Any information would be greatly appreciated.