Cortisone injections are very common to give temporary relief from pain and inflammation. Because of its long-term side effects though, there may be a limit as to how many shots he can get during the year. Many doctors may also be reluctant to give more than a certain number of shots overall, and eventually recommend surgery as a more permanent solution.
A lot will depend on how well your husband does with the shots. Sometimes the relief is so great that the patient overdoes it, shortening the length of time the cortisone is effective. In osteoarthritis, basically bone is rubbing on bone so deterioration will continue even though the cortisone temporarily makes it feel better.
The doctor may recommend trying something like Synvisc, which is a material injected into the knee to provide temporary cushioning, like a temporary replacement for cartilage. My father in law had this done and it did provide relief for a while, but again this may only put off surgery for an additional couple years.
A custom-made knee brace, if he doesn't already have one, can also ease pain and swelling during activity. My Father in law used to place ice bags on his knees before and after playing golf or walking a lot.
Exercise will also help, but it has to be non-impact, like bicycling or stationary cycling. Simply sitting in a chair and lifting the foot until the knee is straight, maybe with a couple pounds of weight on the ankle, can help keep the surrounding muscles and ligaments strong enough to provide support.
I have bone spurs and arthritis in both knees. I also have Lupus (SLE), fibromyagia. I have had cortisone shots in the past for my knees and they provide significant pain relief. I need to have a shot now, but can't because I'm scheduled for 2 epidural steroid injections soon in my lower back due to disc issues. I also take prednisone daily for Lupus. The docs have to be careful not to give too many steroids due to the side effects.
Since I can't have the cortisone shot in my knee right now, I use ice or heat, which ever works best at the time, a knee brace and a topical analgesic cream. I discovered Myoflex to be the best topical cream. I also have prescription numbing patches to use if the pain is extreme. They work great.
If the pain is not getting relieved by pain killers, then it shown that there is requirement of more drastic measures.
I would keep the option of Arthritis,gout and Rheumatism pills in this case,
However the treating doctor can decide the same finally.
Which region are you from, so that i can see, if some better hospitals are present or not.
I forgot to add that a TENS unit might give some pain relief, as well. This device consists of patches attached by wires to a battery operated unit. It provides mild electrical stimulation to the area to deaden pain sensation temporarily. My mom used one of these for her back, and my father in law used one on his knees.
They really do work - I was helping my mom put hers on her back and accidentally touched the inside of a pad with my fingers. My whole arm felt like it went to sleep! :)
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