FAQs of Osteoarthritis in Knee
Doing the research to find the best solution for your pain can be an overwhelming process. If you or someone you love is facing symptoms or a diagnosis of osteoarthritis in knee joints, Rothman Institute is here to help you answer some of the condition's most difficult and frequently asked questions.
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative joint disease) is the "wear and tear" type of arthritis that happens over time and can be worsened by prior injuries. The buffer of cartilage between bones breaks down or erodes, causing the bones to rub together and the joints to become inflamed. The pain from osteoarthritis can be severe and is often associated with stiffness, aches, and swelling. Osteoarthritis in knee joints can usually be diagnosed by your physician through your history, physical exam, and x-rays.
What's The Difference Between Osteoarthritis And Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, resulting from wear-and-tear damage to your cartilage levels. Rheumatoid arthritis is less common and occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the joint lining, causing painful swelling that can eventually result in deformity of the joint.
What Are The Risk Factors For Osteoarthritis In Knee?
While there is still much to learn on the subject, some known risks factors may include:
o Family history
o Low hormone levels
o Trauma / prior injuries
o Repetitive motion injuries
o Nutrition, especially vitamin D, calcium, and/or magnesium levels
What Are The Most Common Symptoms of Osteoarthritis?
Pain is the most common symptom of osteoarthritis in knee joints, primarily when they are in motion. Pain may also be accompanied by:
o Limited range of motion
o Crackling sounds
o Buckling or locking of the joint
o Swelling / inflamed joints
What Are My Treatment Options?
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should consult with your doctor before seeking any permanent treatments. After you receive your diagnosis, there are many non-surgical treatment options available to osteoarthritis in knee patients, such as:
o Good nutrition and supplements
o Low-impact exercises
o Weight loss
o Activity modifications
o Oral medications, such as ibuprofen
o Injections at the joint
What If Non-Surgical Treatment Doesn't Work For Me?
For some patients, especially those whose osteoarthritis is at a more advanced stage, these conservative methods are not enough for a lasting solution. In that case, surgery can help to reduce pain, enhance quality of life, and improve your ability to perform everyday activities with fewer or no restrictions.
Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows your doctor to examine and assess tissues inside the knee. For some, it is then possible to treat the problem using a few instruments inserted through small incisions around the joint. Because it is minimally invasive, knee arthroscopy offers many benefits to the patient, such as:
o Smaller incisions
o Less bleeding during surgery
o Less scarring
o No cutting of muscles or tendons
o Faster recovery and return to regular activities
Finally, a partial or total knee replacement may be recommended if more conservative efforts fail to relieve pain or improve movement. During a knee replacement procedure, all or part of the joint will be replaced with artificial prosthetic parts.
The first course of action for anyone suffering knee pain should be to consulting with your doctor. For more specialized help, see a knee expert at Rothman Institute. Our physicians are some of the most experienced specialists for osteoarthritis in knee joints, and they can offer comprehensive and caring treatment for you. You can rest assured knowing that you will be guided each step of the way toward a healthier, less painful lifestyle. For more information, please visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.