Knee arthritis is a very common form of Arthritis. Knee arthritis is the local inflammation of knee joint primarily represented as severe pain, localized and referred swelling in the knee and stiffness.These primary symptoms make normal day to day activities difficult like walking, running or climbing stairs. If ignored for a longer time, knee arthritis can lead to serious disability which might culminate into major surgery. It is always suggested to not be careless regarding the symptoms and see an expert orthopaedic doctor as soon as the symptoms start developing.
Generally people approaching old age are more susceptible to Knee arthritis or joint related malformations. Although, young people can also have arthritis due to factors like autoimmune response, obesity, hormonal imbalance, vitamin deficiencies, congenital genetic disorders etc.
There are over 100 types of arthritis depending upon the primary cause. The most common of all are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The treatment could be palliative or curative depending upon the extent of damage and the cause of damage.
Knee arthritis is caused by wear-and-tear of the cushioning between knee joint, because of which joint bones rub with each other vigorously while doing any movement. This constant rubbing causes intense excruciating pain, inflammation, muscle stiffness, reduced range of movement or in extreme condition leads to bone spur formations.
Palliative treatments do not completely cure the problem; rather they manage the symptoms and allow the patient to be at ease with medication, lifestyle changes etc.
Certain lifestyle modifications and guided physiotherapy from an expert doctor may help in reducing the pain, regaining of mobility.
Assistive devices such as shock-absorbing knee sleeves, braces or cane may help with the pain relief and mobility temporarily.
Medications are used for managing the pain, swelling and immobility. Although it doesn’t cure arthritis entirely. Following set of medications can be taken after doctor’s prescription:
TENS is also prescribed for pain management, although it is patient specific. It is small device that has to be placed on the knee skin and it sends electric impulses to the nerve endings, helps in alleviating the pain.
The only curative approach available for knee arthritis is surgical correction. There are multiple techniques that are used by surgeons for Knee correction depending upon the type of damage. It should be suggested by the Doctor and must be performed by an expert surgeon.
It is a minor corrective surgery where a small incision is made to repair the degenerated meniscal tear in the knee. Although, it is not used for larger damaged joints.
This surgery is ideal for young patients where a healthy cartilage tissue piece from healthy portion of the knee is harvested and implanted in the articular cartilage.
Osteotomy is a major corrective surgery used when the damage to the knee is one-sided and inextensive. The procedure follows harvesting bone from tibia (shinbone) or femur (thighbone) and reshaped to reduce pressure on the affected joint.
In this procedure, the lining of inflamed joint is removed to reduce swelling and pain.
This is an invasive major corrective surgery in which the affected joint is completely or partially removed and replaced with metallic or plastic joint. It helps in restoring the function of the joint fully.
Points that should be taken into consideration before going through the treatment:
Apart from all the information available at different forums, it is essential to find the best and most experienced Orthopaedic doctor for treatment prescription. Dr Dhananjay Gupta is one of the eminent Orthopaedic surgeon having expertise in joint replacement and sports injuries. With extensive learning in advanced trauma from Tubingen, Germany, he has been widely acclaimed as a noted surgeon with a flair for advanced research.