Thursday, July 18, 2024

What Doctor Treats Arthritis In The Knee

What Types Of Lifestyle Changes Can Help With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Treating Knee Arthritis Without Surgery

Having a lifelong illness like rheumatoid arthritis may make you feel like you dont have much control over your quality of life. While there are aspects of RA that you cant control, there are things you can do to help you feel the best that you can.

Such lifestyle changes include:

Rest

When your joints are inflamed, the risk of injury to your joints and nearby soft tissue structures is high. This is why you need to rest your inflamed joints. But its still important for you to exercise. Maintaining a good range of motion in your joints and good fitness overall are important in coping with RA.

Exercise

Pain and stiffness can slow you down. Some people with rheumatoid arthritis become inactive. But inactivity can lead to a loss of joint motion and loss of muscle strength. These, in turn, decrease joint stability and increase pain and fatigue.

Regular exercise can help prevent and reverse these effects. You might want to start by seeing a physical or occupational therapist for advice about how to exercise safely. Beneficial workouts include:

  • Range-of-motion exercises to preserve and restore joint motion.
  • Exercises to increase strength.

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Knee Replacement Surgery Is One Of The Most Successful Orthopedic Surgeries

Knee replacement surgery involves replacing a damaged knee joint with a new, fully functioning one. The surgery replaces the damaged Anterior Cruciate Ligament , which provides stability to the knee joint while the legs are rotated. During the procedure, a tendon from another part of the body is grafted onto the damaged portion of the ACL. After the surgery, patients can return home on the same day. They must follow the RICE home-remedy method to relieve swelling and discomfort after the surgery.

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What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis

The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown. Researchers think its caused by a combination of genetics, hormones and environmental factors.

Normally, your immune system protects your body from disease. With rheumatoid arthritis, something triggers your immune system to attack your joints. An infection, smoking or physical or emotional stress may be triggering.

Is rheumatoid arthritis genetic?

Scientists have studied many genes as potential risk factors for RA. Certain genetic variations and non-genetic factors contribute to your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Non-genetic factors include sex and exposure to irritants and pollutants.

People born with variations in the human leukocyte antigen genes are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis. HLA genes help your immune system tell the difference between proteins your body makes and proteins from invaders like viruses and bacteria.

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Can An Orthopedic Doctor Treat Arthritis

Orthopedic doctors treat arthritis all the time. Osteoarthritis is one of the most common reasons people see orthopedic doctors or surgeons. Severe arthritis might require a joint replacement or arthroplasty. Other forms of arthritis may also need to be treated by a Rheumatologist.

If you would like to learn more about knee replacements, this video may help.

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Should I See An Orthopedic Doctor For Knee Pain

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Choosing the whether to see an orthopedic doctor for your knee pain should depend on the severity. I you have been in an accident or took a blow to the knee and you cannot put weight on it, the emergency department is the usually the first stop. The ER doctor will likely take X-rays and consult an orthopedic surgeon if needed. If the knee injury is not an immediate emergency, you may make an appointment to see a knee doctor at their office.

If you have knee pain that is not from trauma, your primary care doctor may be able to manage the knee pain.

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How Is Arthritis Of The Knee Treated

Healthcare providers can’t cure knee arthritis. But they have some tips that might reduce the severity of your symptoms and possibly stop the arthritis from getting worse, including:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise using low-impact activities instead of high-impact activities . Aim for about 150 minutes of exercise per week.
  • Wear shock-absorbing inserts in your shoes.
  • Apply heat or ice to the area.
  • Wear a knee sleeve or brace.
  • Physical therapy exercises that help with flexibility, strength and motion.

Joint Or Bursal Aspiration

When a patient has a swollen knee, a doctor may want to verify or rule out certain diagnoses by analyzing the accumulated fluid. To do this, the doctor will remove fluid from the affected knee joint capsule or bursa using a needle and syringe. When performed on a joint capsule, this process is called joint aspiration or arthrocentesis. When performed on a bursa, this process is called bursal aspiration.

See What Is Arthrocentesis ?

The doctor will take note of the aspirated fluidâs color and viscosity and may send it to a lab for further analysis. Determining the contents of the fluid can lead to an accurate diagnosis. For example, uric acid crystals in the joint fluid indicate gout, and bacteria in the fluid indicate infection.

See The Joint Aspiration Procedure

Aspiration and examination of the fluid are important diagnostic steps because the underlying cause of knee swelling will determine the appropriate medical treatment.

Aspirated fluids are not always sent to a lab for analysis. If a diagnosis is already known, a physician may perform an aspiration to improve joint function and patient comfort.

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Why Go To An Orthopedic Clinic

Orthopedic clinics have doctors who are experts in treating conditions like arthritis. Orthopedic physicians work closely with other specialized professionals with a wealth of experience treating musculoskeletal conditions, and this combination of knowledge and expertise are beneficial to patients like you.

How Ra Affects The Knees

New Treatments for Knee Arthritis | Sid Padia, MD | UCLAMDChat

In RA, your immune system attacks and damages the joint cell lining and capsular tissue that surrounds the joint. Its the same with RA in your knees:

  • Immune cells target the synovial membrane that lines the knee joint. This membrane protects the cartilage, ligaments, and other tissues of the knee joint. It also makes synovial fluid, which lubricates the joint to allow for smooth movement.
  • The membrane swells. This causes pain from the inflammation of the tissue. Knee movement is also limited as the swollen membrane takes up more space in the knee area.
  • Over time, the swelling can damage the cartilage and ligaments of the knee joints. These help your knee move and keep bones from grinding on each other.

    As they become damaged, cartilage wears away and bones start to push and grind against each other. This results in pain and bone damage.

    Damage from RA also raises the risk of breaking or wearing down bones more easily. This makes it difficult or impossible to walk or stand without pain or weakness.

    A hallmark symptom of RA is tenderness, pain, or discomfort that gets worse when you stand, walk, or exercise. This is known as a flare-up. It can range from a mild, throbbing pain to an intense, sharp pain.

    More common symptoms of RA in your knees include:

    Here are a few of the methods your doctor will use to diagnose RA in your knees:

    Read Also: What Are Usually The First Signs Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Orthopedic Surgeons Treat Ligament Injuries

    Injuries to the knees ligaments may be caused by a variety of different causes. These conditions can range from overuse to sports-related accidents. Although many patients can return to activity following treatment, there are times when conservative methods fail to work. Orthopedic surgeons may recommend surgery to restore motion and strength to the knee. Surgeons at Sutter Healths network of hospitals offer minimally invasive surgical treatments for ligament injuries.

    What Do Rheumatology Doctors Do

    Rheumatologists are experts in the treatment of inflammatory autoimmune disorders. These conditions, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, involve the patients immune system attacking its own healthy body tissue rather than invading external disease agents. Your primary care provider may refer you to a rheumatologist if you experience joint pain, especially if there was no prior injury. If your joint pain is accompanied by fatigue, fever, rash, or stiffness, it could also indicate an inflammatory disorder. Sometimes abnormal blood test results can also indicate a rheumatic illness.

    What Conditions Does a Rheumatologist Treat?

    Rheumatologists specialize in treating arthritis, musculoskeletal conditions, and autoimmune diseases. There are countless conditions that impact the joints, bones, ligaments, and various other tissues. It’s common for rheumatic conditions to be difficult to diagnose, so rheumatologists use their expertise to both diagnose and treat patients.

    Here are a few common conditions that rheumatologists treat however, this list is certainly not comprehensive:

    • And several more

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    Early Signs Of Arthritis In The Knee

  • Early Signs of Arthritis in the Knee Center
  • Arthritis refers to the redness and swelling of the joints. It usually develops slowly over 10 to 15 years, interfering with daily life activities. Knowing the early signs of arthritis can help you take appropriate treatment and incorporate modifications in your diet and lifestyle.

    The knee joint is the largest and the most complex joint in the body. Depending on the cause, the early signs and symptoms of arthritis in the knee joint may vary amongst individuals. Typically, these include:

    • Pain while climbing stairs or walking
    • Joint stiffness after sitting for prolonged periods with bended knees
    • Difficulty in straightening the knee after getting up in the morning
    • Swelling over the knees that gets worse on walking
    • Bones in the knee joint rub against each other giving rise to the sound of creaking, clicking or snapping, or grinding
    • Many people with arthritis experience increased joint pain during rainy weather

    Complementary And Alternative Therapies

    How to Take Care of Knee Arthritis?

    Some people with osteoarthritis try complementary or alternative therapies such as acupuncture and aromatherapy and find them helpful.

    However, there’s a lack of medical evidence to suggest they’re effective and they generally are not recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence .

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    How Ra Affects Your Knees

    In RA, your immune system attacks and damages the synovial cell lining of your joint. The synovial cell is the connective tissue that lines your joints. RA causes your synovial cells to increase, which causes thickening and inflammation. Its the same with RA in your knees:

  • Immune cells target the synovial membrane that lines your knee joint. This membrane protects the cartilage, ligaments, and other tissues of your knee joint. Synovial cells also produce synovial fluid, which lubricates your joints, further allowing smooth movement.
  • Your joint becomes inflamed, which causes pain and damage to your joint tissue. Your knee movement is also limited as the swollen membrane takes up more space in the knee area.
  • Over time, the inflammation can damage the cartilage and ligaments of your knee joints. Along with synovial fluid, these help your knees move and keep your bones from grinding against each other.

    As they become damaged, your cartilage wears away and exposes your bone. Bone, unlike cartilage, has pain receptors. As your bone is exposed, your bones start to push and grind against each other. This results in pain and bone damage.

    Tissue damage from RA can led to chronic, or lasting, pain, affect your balance and steadiness, and change the appearance of your joints.

    A hallmark symptom of RA is tenderness, pain, or joint discomfort that worsens when you stand, walk, or exercise. This is known as a flare. It can range from a mild, throbbing pain to intense, sharp pain.

    Home Remedies And Medical Options

    Options include:

  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , like ibuprofen or aspirin, to reduce pain and inflammation
  • tramadol, available by prescription for more severe pain
  • corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation
  • other medications, such as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs for RA but not OA
  • applying heat and cold pads to relieve pain and swelling
  • topical creams, such as capsaicin
  • use of a cane or walker to help you balance
  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Experts say that people who play an active role in managing their OA, for example, are likely to see a more positive outcome. You can do so by learning about arthritis, becoming aware of what makes symptoms better or worse, and making decisions with your doctor.

    Discover exercises to strengthen the knee muscles.

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    What Are The Treatment Options For Patellofemoral Arthritis

    Generally, we manage most peoples knee cap arthritis pain with simple conservative measures. Firstly, exercise therapy should be the basis of treatment. Examples of treatments that are effective include:

    • strengthening of the hip and knee
    • stretching of the muscles around the hip and leg
    • taping or bracing of the kneecap
    • using proper shoes and orthotics
    • medications such as ibuprofen

    Sometimes, we use injections to help with knee cap arthritis pain in complex cases. Generally, options for injections include cortisone, hyaluronic acid, and platelet-rich plasma.

    Finally, surgery should only be considered when all other treatments have failed. Moreover, joint replacement is the only effective treatment. You should avoid keyhole surgery for arthritis behind the kneecap as evidence suggests it does not work.

    When Should You See A Doctor For Arthritis In The Knee

    How PRP Therapy Can Help Treat Knee Pain & Arthritis

    Knee pain can be caused by problems with the knee joint, the ligaments or tendons, or even arthritis. Whether you are experiencing swelling or stiffness in joints, a knee arthritis doctor, such as Dr. Christopher Williams at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta, offers arthritis knee treatments. Arthritis leads to extensive inflammation and swelling in the joints. Arthritis can lead to pain and discomfort and reduced mobility. During a consultation at our Atlanta, GA office, we can customize a treatment plan that allows you to live comfortably with minimal to no pain or discomfort.

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    Your Pains Out Of Control

    If you hurt so much that you canât do daily tasks, get through your workday, or sleep well at night, itâs time to see your doctor. If over-the-counter pain relievers and home remedies arenât working, you may need prescription medication to ease your pain. Your doctor can also inject a steroid into your joint to help with pain and swelling.

    Osteoarthritis may get worse over time. Cartilage wears away, and the bones in your joint rub together when you move. At this stage, you may need to see an orthopedic surgeon to see if you need a total joint replacement or other surgery.

    Symptoms Differ For Rheumatoid Arthritis

    If you have rheumatoid arthritis, rather than osteoarthritis, your symptoms may differ, says orthopedic surgeon Michael Raab, MD.

    Patients with osteoarthritis complain their joints hurt the more theyre up and about, he says.

    Conversely, with rheumatoid arthritis patients typically state that when they wake up in the morning their joints are sore. And their pain is not just in one joint, but in symmetrical joints that is, in joints on both sides of the body, such as both hands, feet, or ankles.

    And rheumatoid arthritis pain usually subsides after youve been up and moving. Symptoms are usually worse after a period of inactivity or the first thing in the morning.

    Michael Raab, MD, explains differences in symptoms between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

    Click play to watch the video or read video transcript.

    What are the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis?

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    Primary Care Doctors Treat Meniscus Tears

    Symptoms of meniscus tears can range from pain in the knee to swelling and stiffness. The pain can be constant or episodic, and it may affect your ability to walk or perform athletic activities. Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to ease the pain and swelling. Over-the-counter pain relievers do not address the underlying problem and may interact with prescription medications. Ask your doctor for advice before taking any medications. You may need to use crutches for mobility.

    Gradual Increase In Pain

    How to Treat Knee Arthritis?

    Arthritis pain usually starts slowly, although it can appear suddenly in some cases.

    At first, you may notice pain in the morning or after youve been inactive for a while.

    Your knees may hurt when you:

    • stand up from a sitting position
    • walk on a flat surface
    • sit down for a while

    Knee pain that wakes you up from sleep can be a symptom of OA.

    For people with RA, the symptoms often start in the smaller joints. They are also more likely to be symmetrical, affecting both sides of the body. The joint may be warm and red.

    With OA, symptoms may progress rapidly or they may develop over several years, depending on the individual. Symptoms can worsen and then remain stable for a long time, and they can vary day to day.

    Factors that may cause worsening of symptoms include:

    • excessive activity

    With RA, symptoms usually appear over several weeks, but they can develop or worsen in a few days. A flare can happen when disease activity increases. Triggers vary and can include changes in medication.

    Read Also: Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Make You Feel Sick

    When You Need To Lose Weight

    Because osteoarthritis can make it hard for you to stay active, itâs easy to gain weight. Shedding even a few pounds can ease the strain on your joints.

    If you need help to lose weight, talk to your doctor or nurse. They can suggest a diet plan and weight loss goal thatâs right for you. They can also refer you to a dietitian or nutritionist to create an eating plan for you, or a weight loss doctor if you need one. It takes time, but donât give up. Weight loss can do a lot to ease your OA symptoms.

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