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Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine of San Antonio

About Joint Replacement

Treatment Options

  • Medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Arthroscopy – cleaning the joint
  • Joint fluid supplements (injections that provide temporary pain relief)
  • Partial joint replacement
  • Total joint replacement


  • Aspirin-free pain relievers–acetaminophen
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs)
  • Corticosteroids–injection/pill form

Physical Therapy

  • Passive range-of-motion exercises may help:
    - Reduce stiffness
    - Keep joints flexible
  • Isometric exercises help build muscle strength


What is arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure used to visualize, diagnose and treat problems inside a joint.

In an arthroscopic examination, an orthopaedic surgeon makes a small incision in the patient's skin and then inserts pencil-sized instruments that contain a small lens and lighting system to magnify and illuminate the structures inside the joint.

Joint Fluid Supplements

Injections that provide temporary relief:

  • For patients whose joint pain does not improve with medication or physical therapy, "joint grease" injections may provide temporary relief. The joint is injected with a joint fluid supplement that acts as a lubricant for the damaged joint.
  • Joint injection schedules and duration of relief vary according to the treatment chosen and the individual patient. However, these injections do not cure the diseased knee, and joint replacement may be needed as the joint worsens with time.

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