Brief Outline of Osteoarthritis Knee
Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is a progressive degenerative disease that wears away at the joint cartilage, which is a stiff connective tissue that allows for smooth movement as the knee joint flexes and extends, and which also acts as a shock absorber. As osteoarthritis progresses, the protective cartilage becomes thin and, in extreme cases, the ends of the bones can be exposed. Osteoarthritis of the knee is more common in patients who are over 50 and overweight.
Cause of Osteoarthritis Knee
Long-term repetitive overuse. Excessive weight or overloading of the knee joint. Previous injury to the knee, such as fracture or a meniscus injury.
Signs and Symptoms of Osteoarthritis Knee
Pain, swelling, and tenderness, especially during activity. Stiffness and limited range of motion. Crunching, grinding, and locking of the knee joint.
Complications if Left Unattended Osteoarthritis Knee
If left unattended the cartilage will degenerate to the point where the ends of the bones will be grinding on each other, at which point surgery will be the only option for relief.
Treatment for Osteoarthritis Knee
Anti-inflammatory medications. Synvisc Injection.
Rehabilitation and Prevention for Knee Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is an extremely difficult condition to reverse, so prevention is a high priority. All efforts should be made to reduce any excess body weight and modify any activities that put repeated stress on the knee joint. Improving the condition of the muscles around the knee with strengthening and stretching exercises will provide added support to the knee joint. Another alternative is to take glucosamine supplements, which may help to prevent further degeneration of the cartilage, and may even help to rebuild it.
Long-term prognosis and surgery
If prevention strategies are not initiated at an early stage, osteoarthritis of the knee may progress to the point where surgery is the only option. Depending on the severity of the condition, and the overall health of the patient, a number of surgical options are available. These range from knee arthroscopy, where the surgeon uses fibre-optic technology to look inside the joint and clean it of debris, to a total knee replacement.