Knees

Knees Articles

Where does it hurt?

The Harvard Health Decision Guides help you determine the appropriate next steps to alleviate your pain. More »

Can you put off that knee surgery?

Surgery is not always necessary to relieve knee pain. The first line of treatment is three months of physical therapy. Physical therapy can be complemented with other means of pain relief. Shedding pounds reduces the pressure placed on the knee. Corticosteroid injections can temporarily reduce pain and swelling, which can make it less painful to take part in physical therapy. Acupuncture is helpful to some people. Some people find that chondroitin and glucosamine supplements relieve pain. More »

Getting a new knee: Timing is everything

Joint replacement for an arthritic knee is beneficial if a person has significant pain, physical damage to the joint, and disability in everyday life. Age is no barrier to joint replacement in otherwise healthy men. The risks of the surgery are relatively low, with an average risk of death of less than 1%. Artificial joints fail in less than 1% of cases, requiring a repair surgery. Recovery takes several months of physical therapy and up to a year to fully rebuild muscles and other tissues around the joint. (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: Acupuncture for knee pain

Acupuncture has been promoted for many conditions, but clinical studies to confirm the benefit for knee arthritis have been mixed. The risks are minimal, but most insurance providers do not reimburse for acupuncture. (Locked) More »

Surprising new ways to build healthy knees

Keeping the leg and hip muscles strong and coordinated helps prevent knee injuries and reduce pain. Some of the best ways to boost knee health include improving balance, losing weight, and strengthening the muscles above and below the knees. Weight loss is important to knee health because it reduces the amount of pressure in the joint. Balance requires your knees to work together with the other joints that enable you to stand—the hips and ankles. The quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles provide power to your knee and the ability to extend and bend your leg. (Locked) More »

Easy exercises for healthy knees

Even a small amount of exercise throughout the day will make a difference in knee health. Just a few repetitions here and there will give the knee joint more stability, which decreases stress at the joint from any weight-bearing activities. That can also help lessen the progression of arthritis in the joint. It’s helpful to fit in a few repetitions while watching TV or talking on the phone. Exercises that can help improve knee health include heel raises, standing side leg lifts, standing knee lifts, seated hamstring curls, and seated knee extensions.   (Locked) More »