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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

Knee pain treatments

Put an end to chronic knee pain.

Find relief from persistent knee pain

Don’t let knee pain limit your movement and keep you from activities you love. With the help of Geisinger specialists, you can find relief.

Knee pain care at Geisinger

When you have the latest innovations and surgical expertise on hand, you can find life-changing solutions in knee care and knee joint replacement. As a provider of Mako® joint replacement surgery — a minimally invasive procedure that relieves pain and restores mobility — we can help you return to an active lifestyle faster.

Best of all, you don’t have to travel far for world-class knee pain treatments. Visit our orthopaedic teams in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area, Danville and central Pennsylvania or the greater Harrisburg region.

Common causes of knee pain

Long-lasting knee pain can happen to just about anyone, no matter your age and activity level. Most often, it’s the result of one of these common conditions:

  • Osteoarthritis, also known as OA, is a degenerative disease that wears down the cartilage in your joints. As cartilage breaks down, you have less cushioning and shock absorption. That leads to intense joint pain and discomfort. If you have OA in your knees, you might notice symptoms like:
  • Pain in one or both knees
  • Pain that seems to get worse when the weather is rainy or damp
  • Pain from repetitive motion or long periods of inactivity, like sitting
  • Stiffness when you wake up
  • Tenderness, warmth, swelling or creaking in your knee joint
  • Post-traumatic arthritis develops after an injury or an accident. For example, you might be diagnosed with post-traumatic arthritis as the result of a car accident or an old sports injury.
  • Obesity or being overweight can put extra pressure on your joints, especially weight-bearing joints like your knees.

Need to see an orthopaedic specialist? Request a consult.

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How to treat knee pain and when to schedule an appointment

Don’t wait to treat knee pain. Seeing your doctor earlier means you’ll find the source of your pain sooner. Even if you’ve had chronic knee pain for a long time, you have options. Your doctor can help you find relief via physical therapy and other treatments you can do on your own. And if needed, they can recommend other medical care.

Non-surgical treatments

Wondering about non-surgical care options? Your doctor might recommend one of the following:

  • Iovera®: This handheld device creates a cold zone under the skin to keep nerves from sending pain signals. One treatment can last up to 90 days.
  • AposHealth®: AposHealth is a shoe that’s calibrated to your body. You can strengthen your knees and treat your pain by wearing it for as little as an hour a day.
  • Knee brace: If you have long-lasting knee pain, chances are you’ve already tried a knee brace — or several. Their design can prevent injury, provide stability or aid in rehabilitation after injury.
  • Cortisone: Cortisone is commonly known as a steroid shot. Your doctor injects cortisone directly into the sore knee joint to ease pain quickly and reduce inflammation and swelling.
  • Gel injection: A gel injection is also called a hyaluronic acid injection or viscosupplementation. Hyaluronic acid is a fluid your body naturally produces to lubricate your joints. Your doctor injects the gel close to the joint to provide a fluid cushion around the joint and ease pain.
  • Platelet-rich plasma injection: This is also called a PRP injection. A PRP injection uses platelets, or tiny pieces of cells, from your own blood to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Stem cell injection: Injecting stem cells from your own bone marrow or fat into the knee joint eases inflammation.

Surgical treatments

Sometimes, surgery is the best option. Your doctor may recommend knee replacement surgery rather than non-surgical options if your symptoms include:

  • Severe knee pain when you’re active and when you’re resting
  • Decreased range of motion that doesn’t go away with non-surgical treatment
  • A bulge or inward bow of the knee


Knee surgeries and joint problems

Knee replacement surgery can relieve intense pain caused by osteoarthritis and improve mobility. Many people who have knee replacement surgery, which is also called arthroplasty, say it’s life changing.

There are two common types of knee replacement surgeries: partial knee replacement and total knee replacement.

How does a knee replacement work?

Partial and total knee replacement surgeries involve removing damaged cartilage and bone. A partial knee replacement stops there. During a total knee replacement, which is more common, your surgeon will also add an artificial joint called an implant.
What is partial knee replacement surgery?

A partial knee replacement helps relieve arthritis in one or two of the three compartments that make up your knee joint. Your surgeon will carefully target the part of your knee that has been damaged and remove only the diseased area, leaving the surrounding healthy bone and ligaments alone.
What is total knee replacement surgery?

During a total knee replacement surgery, your orthopaedic surgeon will totally replace your diseased or damaged knee joint with an artificial joint called an implant. The implant is made of high-grade metal and plastic that fuses to the resurfaced bone. Once it’s in place, the implant moves like a healthy joint. 

Your surgeon will select an implant design based on a variety of factors, including your lifestyle and activity level, as well as how much your knee joint has deteriorated.

What is robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery?

Robotic arm-assisted surgeries, including Mako® robotic arm-assisted procedures, are minimally invasive. They relieve pain and restore mobility, so you can return to your favorite activities faster.

During a robotic arm-assisted knee replacement surgery, your orthopaedic surgeon uses CT scanning to create 3D images of your joint before the surgery. They’ll use these images to plan the procedure. During surgery, your doctor will guide the robotic arm to remove diseased bone and cartilage, then insert a total or partial knee implant.

A robotic arm does not perform your surgery on its own. It can’t make decisions or move without your surgeon’s guidance.

What can I expect after a knee replacement?

Thanks to advances in minimally invasive procedures, like Mako robotic arm-assisted surgery, you can expect better results with less scarring and downtime after a knee replacement.
How long is knee replacement recovery time?

Less-invasive knee replacement procedures shorten the amount of time it takes to heal and rehabilitate your knee. Average hospital stays after knee replacement surgery are as short as one or two nights. Some patients can even go home the day of their surgery.
What can I do to recover quickly?

Shortly after your surgery, your nurses and rehabilitation team will get you started with simple exercises to jump-start your muscles and get your blood flowing. Your care team will give you a list of specific goals you’ll need to reach before heading home from the hospital. These include getting in and out of bed without help, walking up and down several steps, and performing exercises with the help of a cane or walker.
How long does a knee replacement last?

Knee replacements are successful at reducing pain, increasing mobility and improving quality of life. Research shows that more than 90% of people who have knee replacement surgery have far less pain and maintain good function more than 15 years after their surgery.

Why choose Geisinger knee pain treatments?

Geisinger orthopaedic specialists and orthopaedic surgeons offer:

Experienced joint pain care
When an orthopaedic team treats thousands of patients and performs hundreds of surgeries every year, you know you’re in good hands. And everything we do at Geisinger is backed by nationally renowned expertise and innovation.

Better, faster healing
Our ProvenCare® program can assist your healing by identifying and consistently providing treatment. With ProvenCare, you’ll spend less time in the hospital and recover faster.

Leading specialty care
Turn to Geisinger for specialty orthopaedic care. No matter the cause of your joint pain, the right specialists with the right specialized skills are here to ease it.

Range of treatments
Depending on your diagnosis, you have options for reducing joint pain, from non-invasive treatments like medications and physical therapy to orthopaedic surgery. Many of our joint replacement surgeries are backed by our ProvenCare program.

Specialized athletic care
Ready to get back to walking, running, swimming, biking, dancing and playing — pain free? Then you’ll love our focus on sports medicine. Here, we don’t just treat injuries. We help athletes properly rehab to avoid developing joint pain in the future.

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