Osteoarthritis of the Knee
 
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The joints of our body are cushioned with a material called hyaline cartilage (Fig.1). With age, normal wear and tear of the cartilage takes place in most joints. Injury to a joint or repetitive stress are also factors. The loss of cartilage can cause disability or deform the joint and bone spurs may develop. Over a period of time cartilage wears away and the thickened bones begin to rub against on another and wear away. This condition is known as osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis.

Symptoms Include:
  • Stiffness and swelling with limited motion after inactivity.
  • Weakening of the thigh muscles.
  • Knee pain that increase throughout the day.
Treatment:
Non-surgical treatment
  • Rehabilitation will strengthen muscles, help reduce knee pain and improve function.
  • Bracing to shift loads and support the effected knee.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, Naprosyn and Celebrex may be used to decrease knee pain and swelling. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting these medications.
  • Cold therapy applied to the inflammation helps stimulate blood flow, and relieves the knee pain associated with inflammation. Cold therapy should be applied several times over the course of the day.
Surgical treatment
  • Arthroscopy to remove loose bodies in the knee or trim torn cartilage.
  • Osteotomy to improve knee alignment.
  • Unicompartmental arthroplasty if the arthritis is localized to one side of the knee.
  • Total knee replacement if the arthritis affects the whole knee joint.


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