Alternatives to knee replacement surgery include weight loss, exercise, physical therapy, acupuncture, arthroscopic surgery, knee injections and medications, reports Healthline. All of these options are less aggressive than knee replacement and can be considered before deciding on surgery.
A physical therapist can provide exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee and decrease pain, explains Healthline. One type of knee injection, prolotherapy, involves injecting a solution of dextrose into the ligament to allow more blood flow to the area. Another injection uses hyaluronic acid to loosen the knee joint to improve movement. Arthroscopic surgery is less invasive than knee replacement because the surgeon inserts instruments and a small camera into a few small incisions in the knee to repair any damage.