Knee Osteoarthritis is the most common type of knee arthritis over Rheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis progresses slowly and generally affects middle-aged to older people. The cause is from the articular cartilage wearing down inside the knee joint causing a bone-on-bone grinding reaction.
Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis are constant pain with weight bearing, kneeling, going up and down stairs, stiffness, swelling, and the inability to bend the knee. Many times there is a feeling of instability or weakness. Many people with osteoarthritis also report that a change in weather affects their knee. Osteoarthritis is easily diagnosed with a proper history and a thorough evaluation along with an x-ray that shows joint space narrowing.
Treatment for less severe osteoarthritis can be conservative and will consist of losing weight and increasing daily activity. Good activities include swimming and biking and avoiding activities such as jogging and other weight bearing activities. Exercise helps stretch the muscles of the leg and increases flexibility. Other conservative options consist of wearing a supportive knee brace, ambulatory devices, or special shoes. Anti- inflammatory medications are also beneficial as well as corticosteroids, which are strong anti- inflammatory medications that can be injected into the knee.
Another supplement that can be taken for this condition is Glucosamine Chondroitin, an herbal supplement which has shown in some studies to give mild supplement. If conservative methods do not relieve the pain, surgical options may need to be performed. Arthroscopic debridement of the menisci may help resolve the pain. Another procedure called an osteotomy, which is a small cut in the shin bone or the thigh bone to help realign the knee. A final procedure is a total or a partial knee replacement where the damaged knee joint is replaced with metal and plastic.
- Occurs due to the natural aging process
- It is a disease of cartilage
- Part Genetic/ Part Wear and Tear
- Conservative treatment can resolve issues