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Arthritis of Knee: Symptoms & treatment

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Knee joint pain is a common condition that affects people of all ages. Knee pain can be the result of an injury, like a torn ligament or cartilage. Other factors like arthritis, gout and infections can also cause knee pain. Various types of light knee pain respond well to self-care. Physiotherapy and knee pads can also help relieve pain. However, in some cases, the knee may require surgical repair. The knee joint is a hinge joint named for its movement, similar to opening and closing a door. The knee joint consists of three main bones, and each one has a protective covering of cartilage called the meniscus, which gives the knee more support. The daily demands on the knee and its injury potential make it a common source of arthritic damage. There are different types of arthritis, and the type will determine the treatment a doctor will recommend.

In this article, Dr Debashish Chanda, one of the best orthopaedic surgeons at the CK Birla Hospital, will discuss the common symptoms and treatments for arthritis of knee. 

Common symptoms of arthritis of knee

Depending on the causes of the knee pain, its location and severity, symptoms of knee arthritis may vary. Some of the common signs and symptoms that accompany knee pain are:

  • Swelling in the knee
  • Stiffness of the knee
  • Redness and warmth of the knee
  • Weakness or instability
  • Crunching noises of the knee
  • Unable to straighten the knee fully

When to see a doctor

If you notice any of the following signs, then you should consult with a doctor:

  • Unable to bear weight on your knee 
  • Unable to fully straighten your knee
  • A visible deformity in your knee
  • Redness, pain and swelling of the knee
  •  Severe knee pain due to an injury

It is always advisable that you should not ignore your early signs and symptoms. Taking external help or medical help is always a better option to cure any problem before it becomes untreatable. 

Treatment for arthritis of knee

Treatments for knee arthritis will vary, depending upon the symptoms and causes you are facing.

  • Medications for arthritis of knee

Your doctor may prescribe you medications that help in relieving the knee pain. These medications will also treat the conditions causing knee pain, like gout or rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Therapy for arthritis of knee

The main goal of knee arthritis therapy is to improve joint mobility, pain relief and provide strength to the knee. It also helps in controlling knee pain symptoms and prevents additional damage to the joint.

Strengthening the knee muscles will make the knees more stable. Your doctor may suggest physical therapy or different types of exercises depending on the specific condition causing your pain.

When you are physically active, you may need to exercise to correct your movement patterns that can affect your knees. Exercises to improve your flexibility and balance are also important. Arch supports and different orthotics can be used to protect and support the knee joint under certain conditions.

  • Surgeries for knee arthritis

If you have a problem that is the leading cause of your knee pain, your doctor might recommend surgery. There are both types of surgical reconstruction and nonsurgical rehabilitation, depending upon causes, these are: 

  • Knee arthroscopic surgery- In this surgery, your doctor will repair your joint damage by using a fibre optic camera and long, narrow tools inserted through some small incisions around the knee. Arthroscopy is also used to remove or repair damaged cartilage (if it blocks the knee) and reconstruct torn ligaments.
  • Partial knee replacement surgery-  In this procedure, your doctor will only replace the most damaged part of your knee with metal and plastic pieces. This surgery is performed through small incisions, so it is likely to heal faster than surgery that replaces the entire knee. 
  • Total knee replacement- In this procedure, your doctor will cut away damaged bone and cartilage from the thigh bone, kneecap, and shinbone. Lastly, the doctor will replace it with metal and plastic artificial joints.
  • Knee osteotomy- In this procedure, the doctor will remove bone from the shinbone or thighbone to properly align the knee and relieve arthritis pain. This surgery may help you to prevent or avoid total knee replacement surgery.

Also, read: Partial vs total knee replacement surgery: Which fits better?

Outlook

Arthritis pain in the knee is sometimes not curable due to its symptoms and causes but is easily manageable with knee arthritis treatments. These treatments will reduce the potential disability causes and slow down the joint damage. If you have similar symptoms to knee arthritis, don’t delay in getting treatment. You can book your appointment with our orthopaedics surgeons for managing your conditions, or you can call at +91 124 4882248.