Age plays a crucial role in the development of knee osteoarthritis; however, even young people can develop it. Hereditary factors may be at play for some people, while others may experience knee arthritis due to injury or infection, or excessive weight.
Whatever type of knee condition you have or which knee arthritis treatment option you choose, staying informed about your condition and working with an experienced doctor to ensure you get the best care for your needs is critical.
Knee arthritis is a condition that causes pain and decreased mobility due to the gradual deterioration of the cartilage in the knee joint. Various elements, such as age, genetics, and trauma, can trigger the development of this condition.
Symptoms may include:
In people with arthritic conditions, the bone may rub against the bone, forming bony protrusions known as bone spurs. Prolonged deterioration of joint cartilage can wreak havoc on knee structure leading to knock-knee and bowed leg deformities.
For those suffering from knee arthritis, even the simplest of tasks can be incredibly painful and laborious, such as walking or climbing stairs. So look out for the following simple indicators of arthritis in the knee:
If left untreated, knee arthritis can lead to significant pain and disability. Therefore, it is critical to consult a doctor about any symptoms you are experiencing so that the proper diagnosis can be made and treatment can begin. Early diagnosis and treatment of knee arthritis can help reduce long-term damage and improve the overall quality of life.
Your doctor may prescribe you NSAIDs, corticosteroids, or physical therapy, depending on the type, severity, and progression of your knee condition. Alternative therapies may also be considered including a multitude of injections.
Below are some of the risk factors of Knee Arthritis:
It is recommended to talk with your doctor if you notice any of these risk factors to determine the best knee arthritis treatment plan for your needs.
Diagnosis of knee arthritis typically involves a doctor’s physical examination, laboratory tests, and imaging studies. During the physical exam, your doctor will assess a few things, including:
Charles E. Stewart, M.D., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, will perform a full examination to determine the extent of your injury and recommend a personalized treatment plan. To establish if you have knee arthritis, he will utilize a variety of diagnostic tests and procedures, such as:
Medical history and physical examination: A comprehensive assessment of medical history and physical examination is paramount for a successful diagnosis.
Blood tests: Genetic markers and RA antibody blood tests can provide vital information about your health.
X-rays: It helps determine cartilage loss in the knee and can reveal the degree of cartilage deterioration, allowing accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Joint aspiration: Sampling and examining the synovial fluid inside the knee joint through an aspiration process may be essential for understanding any underlying issues within this crucial joint.
Charles E. Stewart, M.D. is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in reconstructive treatments for the adult lower extremity. He will be able to determine a proper diagnosis and treatment plan based on the results of these tests.
Depending on your age, the level of agony you are in, the stage and type of arthritis you have, and other elements, treatment strategies differ. Sadly, cartilage breakdown cannot be reversed; however, there are ways to ease aches and prevent further harm.
Your doctor may suggest the following nonsurgical treatments for knee arthritis:
Simple Life Changes: Modifying your activities can help prevent joint pain and inflammation from worsening.
This change may involve avoiding high-impact exercises like running and jumping and instead focusing on low-impact or no-impact exercises to remain physically active and manage symptoms. “Motion is lotion.”
Physical Therapy: Physical therapy may help increase strength and range of motion in the knee joint.
Weight Loss: If applicable, your doctor may suggest weight loss to reduce the stress placed on the joint. The forces across the knee are up to 4-8X body weight. Thus even moderate weight loss can help ease symptoms.
Bracing: Bracing can provide additional support and stability to the joint.
Medications: Medications and injections like hyaluronic acid injections can be prescribed to control pain and inflammation and promote healing.
Walking Aids: Walking aids like a cane or walker can be used to provide support.
The advancement of knee arthritis and the success of nonsurgical treatments can differ. For this, your doctor will collaborate with you to create a customized plan that might involve a mix of nonsurgical treatments.
If nonsurgical treatments do not offer sufficient pain relief and improvement in mobility, consider surgical alternatives after consulting your doctor. These may include:
Radiofrequency ablation: It helps block pain signals from reaching the brain.
Total knee replacement: It involves replacing the knee joint’s bones with artificial implants for long-term stability and pain reduction.
Partial knee replacement or resurfacing: This procedure addresses cartilage damage in a specific knee area.
Arthroscopic Surgery: Or minimally invasive “clean-out surgery, that was popular many years ago involves removing the joint lining damaged by rheumatoid arthritis.
Following any knee arthritis surgery, there is a recovery phase. The recovery from knee arthritis will depend upon your treatment type.
Your orthopedic surgeon may suggest physical therapy to help you gain knee strength and restore motion range. You might require a knee brace, crutches, or a cane for a certain duration based on the type of knee surgery. Surgery helps alleviate pain and improves your ability to perform everyday activities easily.
While it typically takes around six weeks for the muscles to recover and support the joint, after three months fully, you should have enough strength to go back to work and begin some light sports. Maintain your optimism, but don’t be disheartened if recovery takes longer. Patients will continue to make improvements for 1-2 years.
The success of a joint replacement procedure is determined by various factors, such as your
In the initial three-month period after surgery, you should abstain from actions such as squatting and kneeling for extended periods, carrying heavy items, and making sudden forceful movements. Additionally, removing tripping hazards inside your home requires wearing flat, well-fitting shoes with non-slippery soles to avoid falls.
Knee arthritis is a common problem affecting people of all ages. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the risk factors, diagnosis, treatment options, and prevention strategies for knee arthritis to make informed decisions about your health.
If you have signs and symptoms of knee arthritis, it’s best to consult a medical professional immediately. Let our experienced and board-certified orthopedic surgeon provide customized treatment for a successful recovery from knee arthritis. Are you looking for more information? Book an appointment at Charles E. Stewart M.D. – Sforzo | Dillingham | Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine.
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