Featured Speaker Physiotherapy Now

Dr. Bassam Masri

MD, FRCSC,Orthopaedic Surgeon, Vancouver, BC

There are a lot of treatment options for arthritis of the knee.

Certainly not everybody with osteoarthritis of the knee needs surgery. The mainstay of treatment initially is weight loss, activity modification, you can use a cane in the opposite hand so if the right knee is sore you should use a cane in the left hand.

You can use medical treatment such as Tylenol which is the safest medication for arthritis. The issue with Tylenol is that people tend not to take enough of it.

To be effective you have to take two extra strength Tylenols or 1,000 milligrams of acetaminophen three to four times per day and that should not be exceeded because otherwise you can get into liver problems.

If acetaminophen or Tylenol is not effective then you can try the anti-inflammatories. And most anti-inflammatories work pretty well the same way.

You can try the generic over-the-counter ibuprofen or naproxen which is Advil or Aleve and as long as you take a sufficient dose and as long as it doesn’t cause irritation to the stomach and it controls the pain then that should be sufficient.

One has to keep in mind, however, that long term anti-inflammatory treatment can have its problems. You can get stomach ulcers and you can also get kidney problems.

So if you are planning on taking anti-inflammatories for a long period of time this should be done under the supervision of a physician to monitor your general health and in particular your kidney function.

Once this treatment has been exhausted then one can consider alternative treatments such as injections. Steroid injections can be helpful but they tend to be helpful for a very short period of time anywhere from a few days to a few weeks and rarely to a few months.

And long-term steroid use in the knee can lead to further degeneration of the knee, so when there’s early arthritis we prefer not to give a lot of steroids.  But other injections such as hyaluronic acid injections, which are lubricants that you put inside the joint – and there are lots of brand names such as Synvisc, Durolane, NeoVisc, Orthovisc, all sorts of brands – they all work pretty well the same way.

The downside to them is the cost. They tend to be expensive. And they tend to be hit and miss as to when they work and when they don’t work. And, once you’ve exhausted all nonsurgical options the final option is surgery which is extremely beneficial and successful in 80 to 90 percent of people.

If you think that you have osteoarthritis of the knee that may need surgical or nonsurgical treatment or if you have any further questions consult with your physician.
Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Presenter: Dr. Bassam Masri, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Orthopaedic Surgeon


Dr. Masri specializes in hip and knee arthroplasty and has been in academic practice in Vancouver, British Columbia for the past 18 years. He completed his residency in Orthopaedics at The University of British Columbia (UBC) and subsequently completed a fellowship in Musculoskeletal Oncology at UBC and a fellowship in Hip and Knee Surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York prior to returning to Vancouver to start his practice at Vancouver General Hospital.

He is also Professor of Orthopaedics and Head of the Department of Orthopaedics at UBCH since 2006. Prior to that, he has Associate Professor and Head of the Division of Lower Limb Reconstruction and Oncology. In addition, he is the Head of the Department of Orthopaedics at Vancouver Acute Health Services, which is the largest hospital system in British Columbia. He is also the Surgeon-in-Chief at Vancouver Acute, and the Medical Director of the Centre for Surgical Innovation, which in combination with the Hip and Knee program at Vancouver General Hospital is the largest arthroplasty program in Canada with a combined volume of 2780 cases in the fiscal year 2012-2013.

Dr. Masri has had an interest in Infection and was the co-inventor of the Knee PROSTALAC, which is the prototypical articulated spacer for the management of infected knee arthroplasty. He also helped develop the Vancouver Classification system for periprosthetic fractures along with Dr. Clive Duncan.

Dr. Masri has been involved in multiple research projects leading to numerous presentation and publication. At last count, he was a visiting professor or guest speaker on 152 occasions throughout the world, including Canada, USA, United Kingdom, South Africa, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Japan and China. He has given 279 invited presentations and 227 scientific presentation. He has published 178 peer-reviewed published articles, and 47 book chapters.

He has been involved in the training of 106 post-graduate trainings, including fellows, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, in addition to many more residents.

Dr. Masri’s work has been honored with the Charnely Award by the Hip Society on two occasions and by the Stinchfield Award by the Hip Society once. He is a member of a number of prestigious scholarly societies (by invitation only) including the Hip Society, the Knee Society and the International Hip Society. In addition, he is a member of many other societies.

( Dr. Bassam Masri, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Vancouver, BC ) is in good standing with the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Now Health Network

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