Osteoarthritis is also commonly called as wear-and-tear arthritis. In this condition, the cartilage between the joints is weakened. Due to the loss of cushioning, the bones rub against each other. This rubbing causes pain, swelling, stiffness, decreased ability of movement.
Though older people are more prone to osteoarthritis, even young people may acquire it. The major causes of osteoarthritis are:
- Age: The cartilage loses its ability to heal with age, therefore the chances of osteoarthritis rises.
- Weight: Excess weight exerts pressures on all joints and specifically on knees.
- Genes: People who inherit abnormalities of bones are at higher risk of osteoarthritis.
- Gender: Women are more likely to develop arthritis than men
- Stress injuries: This could be an occupational hazard. If a person’s job involves constant physical activity like sitting, standing or squatting, they may be at risk of osteoarthritis due to constant pressure.
- Other reasons: People with excess iron, excessive growth hormone or rheumatoid arthritis are at higher risk of osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of knee osteoarthritis:
The common symptoms of knee osteoarthritis are:
- Pain around the knee joint that increases during movement and reduces while resting
- Difficulty in sitting
- Difficulty in climbing stairs
- Creaking sounds when the knee moves
Diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis:
A primary physical examination is conducted to diagnose osteoarthritis. The orthopaedic also conducts a detailed study of medical history to analyse the presence of symptoms or if it is a hereditary issue. For younger patients, a MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is conducted to check for soft tissue injury. The older patients are suggested to undergo an X-ray of knee.
Blood tests are conducted to rule out other causes of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis. The joint fluid is drawn out of the affected knee to check for an infection or inflammation.
Treatment of knee osteoarthritis:
The orthopaedic suggests a treatment plan which is a combination of the following things:
- Weight management: Loss of weight will reduce the pressure on the joints and thus relieve you of the symptoms.
- Exercise: Stretching exercises ensures that muscles around the knee are flexible and strengthening exercises help in stabilising the joint.
- Medications: Your health-care provider will prescribe anti-inflammatory and pain relieving medications.
- Alternative therapies: There are alternative therapies that exist for osteoarthritis such as physical and occupational therapies. Physical therapist trains you to strengthen muscles and increase flexibility in joints. Occupational therapies train you to perform your daily activities with less pain.
- Surgeries: Arthroscopy, osteotomy, and arthroplasty surgeries are performed on patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis.
- Arthroscopy: Small incisions are made on the knee and an arthroscope (small telescope) is inserted to view the joint. The surgeon can then operate on the bone to clean the joint or repair the damage.
- Osteotomy: This procedure is used to correct the alignment of knee joint by altering the shape of bones. This is not a permanent fix and further surgery may be needed.
- Arthroplasty: It is also called as joint replacement surgery. In this procedure, the knee joint is replaced by artificial material like metal or plastic. This surgery replaces half or the entire part of your knee.
OMNI Hospitals Visakhapatnam has the best orthopaedic department in Vizag. We have world-class equipment and the best orthopaedics who are adept at treating knee osteoarthritis. We provide the best orthopaedic care for your joints and bones.