Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of musculoskeletal pain and disability in the knee joint. It is a degenerative type of arthritis which generally occurs in people of who are 50 years of age or older.
The knee is the largest and strongest joint present in the human body, which is made up of lower end of femur (thigh bone), upper part of the tibia (shin bone) and patella (knee cap). The end of these three bones at the knee joint is covered with articular cartilage (smooth, slippery substance), which provides cushion for the bone. This cushion-like cartilage gives protection for the knee as you bend or straighten your knee.
When your knee is affected with osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the knee gradually wears away, making it frayed and rough. Therefore, osteoarthritis is also termed as ‘wear and tear” type of arthritis. This causes rubbing of bone on each other, thus producing a painful bone spurs whenever the knee joint moves.
In knee osteoarthritis, over the time the knee joint gets inflamed resulting in moderate-to-severe pain. It is also accompanied with other symptoms such as:
- Joint swelling and pain which gets worse in morning as soon as you get up from sleep
- Intense pain in joints during rigorous activity
- Feeling of weakness due to extreme pain in joints
Who get affected?
Age is one of the major factors for causing knee osteoarthritis; however, sometimes even young people can also get affected. Osteoarthritis of knee may be hereditary for some individuals, where in some it can result from an injury, infection or from being overweight.
How is knee osteoarthritis treated?
The main goal of treating osteoarthritis of the knee is to relieve the pain associated with the disease and promote joint mobility. The initial treatment plan includes:
Lifestyle changes can protect your knee joint and slow the progress of osteoarthritis
- Try to avoid rigorous daily activities which can aggravate the condition
- Indulge in physical activities or exercises that will increase the flexibility and joint motion
- Losing the extra weight will help for obese or overweight people as it will reduce the stress on knee joints
Use of assistive devices
Using assistive devices like shock-absorbing shoes, cane and braces can help to reduce the pain.
There are two types of braces which can be used:
- Unloader braces – takes the weight away from the side of the knee affected by arthritis
- Support braces – provides support for the entire knee
- Painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), Advil, Motrin or Aleve. Stronger non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be also recommended depending on severity of disease
- Ointments and creams which can be applied on external skin surfaces
- Medication injections which are injected directly in to the knee joint like corticosteroid injections (fight against the inflammation) and hyaluronic acid injections (helps to keep knees moving smoothly)
When to go for surgery?
The above treatment options will help to provide relief from pain and inflammation. However, if your pain does not vanish or get worst, then your doctor may recommend for surgery Arthroscopic surgery, osteotomy and knee replacement surgery (arthroplasty) are some of the important type surgeries recommended for knee osteoarthritis.
In this type of surgery, surgeon uses a thin tube fitted with a camera, which is inserted in to the knee via a small opening to view inside. Then surgeon removes the loose bones and damaged cartilage tissues covering the joint bone, which may be causing pain in the person.
Most people can get back to their work immediately and resume daily activities after the arthroscopic surgery.
Osteotomy is a procedure which aims in making the knee alignment better by changing the shape of the bones. Knee osteotomy is generally recommended in early-stage osteoarthritis when just one side of the knee joint is damaged.
Knee replacement surgery
Knee replacement surgery is usually recommended when all other treatment options for osteoarthritis fails.
Following are the indications for knee replacement surgery:
- Severe knee pain which restricts your daily activities
- Severe pain while resting, in day or night
- Chronic knee inflammation
- Knee deformity
- Knee stiffness
- Extreme swelling which does not improve with medication or rest
Knee replacement surgery procedure involves removing of all or part of damaged parts of knee and replacing it with an artificial knee joints. These artificial parts are either made up of metals or plastics.
After knee replacement surgery, proper recovery is highly recommended for patients. Your doctor may suggest various physiotherapy exercises to regain the strength in knee and restore proper motion.
Services at Texas Medical Concierge
Texas Medical Concierge, located at ITC Maurya, New Delhi offers priority access to one the leading hospital in orthopedics – Hospital for Special Surgery.
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is America’s leading specialty hospital devoted to orthopedics and rheumatology. HSS is the world’s renowned hospital for diagnosis and treatment of knee problems. HSS offers particular expertise in ligament and meniscal repairs, cartilage replacement and minimally invasive total knee replacement surgery.
To know more visit us at: www.texasmedicalconcierge.com.