If Surgery Is Required
The meniscus may be involved in some cases of knee OA. In the past, surgery to repair or remove parts or all of this cartilage was common. Current research, however, has shown that Ã¢ in a group of patients who were deemed surgical candidates for knee OA with involvement of the meniscus Ã¢ 60% to 70% of those who first participated in a physical therapy program did not go on to have surgery. One year later, those results were unchanged. This study suggests that physical therapy may be an effective alternative for people with knee OA, who would prefer to avoid surgery.
Sometimes, however, surgical intervention, such as arthroscopy or a total knee replacement, may be recommended. There are many factors to consider when determining the appropriate surgical treatment, including the nature of your condition, your age, activity level, and overall health. Your physical therapist will refer you to an orthopedic surgeon to discuss your surgical options.
Should you choose to have surgery, your physical therapist can assist you prior to and following your surgery. The treatment you require following surgery will depend on a variety of factors such as the type of surgery performed, your level of function, and fitness prior to surgery. Contrary to popular belief, surgery is not the easy choice you will still require treatment following your surgery to maximize your level of function.
Heat And Cold Therapy
Heat and cold can be effective for managing knee pain. Heat can relax the muscles to improve pain and function and promote joint lubrication, which can reduce stiffness. You can use a hot water bottle or a heating pad. For cold therapy, an ice pack, wrapped in a towel, can help reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling.
Some people can get the most out of knee pain relief when they alternate heat and cold therapy. You can experiment with both to figure out what best works for you to manage your knee pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Can Physical Therapy Help Arthritis
Firstly, the best treatment for arthritis pain is exercise. This exercise should be composed of aerobic activities such as walking, running, cycling, and weight training. However, there is not enough evidence to recommend one form of exercise over another. However, exercise programs that get strengths gains of at least 30% do better. Also, exercise supervised by a therapist is more effective. There is less evidence that balance exercises are better. However, it makes sense to add this to a program. Other useful forms of exercise include Tai Chi and Yoga, with more evidence for Tai Chi.
- Younger people although older people also benefit a little less.
- People with mild to moderate arthritis. However, even in severe arthritis, exercise improves symptoms.
- Knee arthritis. There are over 50 studies that show that exercise is the best treatment for arthritis in the knees compared to 12 studies on hip arthritis.
- People combine exercise with other lifestyle factors such as weight loss and education on arthritis.
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What Causes Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
Osteoarthritis of the knee happens when your knee joint cartilage wears out or is damaged. Articular cartilage is tough, rubbery tissue on the ends of your bones that lets you bend and move. Meniscal cartilage absorbs shock from pressure on your knee.
Your cartilage is like your cars shock absorber, protecting your car from bumps and jolts. Drive on lots of rough roads, your shocks wear out fast. Drive on easy streets, your shocks last longer. You can wear out or damage your knee joint cartilage if:
- Youre overweight. If your body mass index is 30 or more, youre seven times more likely to develop osteoarthritis in your knee than someone with a lower BMI.
- You injure your knee or have an old knee injury.
- You frequently put stress on your knee at your job or playing sports.
- You inherited a tendency to develop osteoarthritis of the knee.
- You have crooked bones or joints, such as having knocked knees.
What Is The Best Treatment For Arthritis
The American College of Rheumatologists has released guidelines for the best treatment for arthritis. These recommendations are based on a review of current evidence for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a form of joint disease referred to as wear and tear of the cartilage, but its a little bit more complicated than that. Other factors such as your weight, your genes, and exercise can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis.
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What Is The Treatment For Knee Arthritis
Nonsurgical methods to relieve pain and stiffness should are usually tried first. These may include physical therapy, and/or oral pain medications or injections of corticosteroid or other agents. Advanced knee osteoarthritis may require surgery such as a partial or total knee replacement or patellofemoral joint replacement. Inflammatory arthritis in the knee is usually managed medically rather than surgically.
In cases of â inflammation of the synovium â or effusion , a and/or to aspirate the joint may be appropriate.
Dont: Engage In Repetitive High
Joint-pounding exercises such as running and tennis can tax your already damaged knees, Dr. Pisetsky says. Its a vicious cycle because this type of exercise causes more pain. You stop using your muscle because it hurts, you lose strength, and then your alignment isnt good either, he says. This can also result in needing joint replacement surgery. Listen to your body, he says. If it is painful, dont do it.
Helping Ease Arthritis Pain
While I was researching how to help relieve and treat arthritis pain, I found a very fun way of remembering how to ease a flare up RICE. RICE stands for: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
I have heard these steps before when explaining how to ease pain and swelling, so it makes sense that people would recommend it for joint pain.
Rest Remember to take it easy and rest your knees when they are feeling extremely painful to ensure that you do not do extra damage. Resting can help reduce any swelling as well, if that helps.
Ice Icing your joints can help ease the pain as well. The change in temperature can help ease the pain and greatly reduce any swelling.
Compression Can reduce the swelling, much like icing the joint, but it can also increase swelling if the compression is on too tightly.
Elevation Another way to reduce swelling and pain. Elevate your leg by placing it on a pillow, or a few pillows, so that it is above your heart when you are lying down. This can help blood flow as well.
Is Physical Therapy Effective For Knee Arthritis
Yes, physical therapy is considered the optimal treatment for knee arthritis. This treatment method aids in reducing swelling and stiffness. It is also effective in eliminating pain. When performed properly with a professional physical therapist, it can aid in improving the overall function of the joints of the knees. Those who actively engage in physical therapy for knee arthritis find that it is easier to walk, bend their knees, kneel down, and sit.
What Are The Risks Of Platelet
As with any type of injection, there are small risks of bleeding, pain and infection. When the platelets are from the patient who will be using them, the product is not expected to create allergies or have risks of cross infection. One of the main limitations with PRP products is that every preparation in every patient can be different. No two preparations are the same. Understanding the composition of these therapies required measuring numerous complex and different factors. This variation limits our understanding of when and how these therapies may succeed and fail, and the matter of current research endeavors.
Is Surgery Used To Treat Knee Osteoarthritis
If your doctor wants to treat the osteoarthritis in the knee with surgery, the options are arthroscopy, osteotomy, and arthroplasty.
- Arthroscopy uses a small telescope and other small instruments. The surgery is performed through small incisions. The surgeon uses the arthroscope to see into the joint space. Once there, the surgeon can remove damaged cartilage or loose particles, clean the bone surface, and repair other types of tissue if those damages are discovered. The procedure is often used on younger patients in order to delay more serious surgery.
- An osteotomy is a procedure that aims to make the knee alignment better by changing the shape of the bones. This type of surgery may be recommended if you have damage primarily in one area of the knee. It might also be recommended if you have broken your knee and it has not healed well. An osteotomy is not permanent, and further surgery may be necessary later on.
- Joint replacement surgery, or arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure in which joints are replaced with artificial parts made from metals or plastic. The replacement could involve one side of the knee or the entire knee. Joint replacement surgery is usually reserved for people over age 50 with severe osteoarthritis. The surgery may need to be repeated later if the prosthetic joint wears out after several years. But with today’s modern advancements, most new joints will last over 20 years. The surgery has risks, but the results are generally very good.
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Other Effective Treatments For Arthritis
In addition to exercise, other factors play a role. For example, weight loss is effective at pain relief, with a 10% loss of weight leading to a 50% reduction in pain. So, even small reductions in weight can reduce pain and help some people avoid surgery. Knee braces and hand splints also help with arthritis pain. However, other treatments such as acupuncture, orthotics, massage, and laser are ineffective. Different ways we can reduce pain include avoiding injury , walking on soft rather than hard pavements, and wearing flat rather than high-heeled shoes .
But What Is The Best Treatment For You
If youve been diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis, the best thing to do is go to a physical therapist in your area.
Your physio will work in tandem with your doctor and other healthcare professionals to give you the best care possible. This may look like:
- Teaching you self-management
- Treating your symptoms in the clinic with active and passive strategies
- Designing an exercise program for your needs
- Helping you prepare for knee surgery
We physical therapists are specifically trained to help you recover from painful conditions, like knee OA. We work with you to get you as close as possible to your previous lifestyle.
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Natural Treatments For Arthritis
There are currently a number of alternative treatment options available for osteoarthritis sufferers, ranging from supplements to acupuncture. Many people who formerly suffered with osteoarthritis claim to have finally found relief naturally through adjusting their diets, lifestyles and approaches to managing pain. Here are the top seven natural treatments for arthritis.
1. Reach and Maintain a Healthy Weight
Additional body fat strains joints, but accumulated fat itself can also cause problems to joints that are already sensitive and partially damaged. Fat does more than just sit on your body its also an active tissue that creates and releases hormones and chemicals. Some of these promote inflammation and can contribute to worsening arthritis all over your body.
The University of Michigan School of Public Health reports,
Adipose tissue, once considered a passive storage portal of energy, is now recognized as a highly metabolic endocrine organ with the capacity to secrete active agents including adipocytokines, such as leptin, resistin and adiponectin. Over the past decade, interest in these adipocytokines has quickly become an area of intense study with respect to osteoarthritis based on evidence that they may play an important role in cartilage homeostasis and because of their emerging potential as therapeutic targets.
2. Improve Your Diet
Foods for helping treat arthritis include:
3. Stay Active
Where Can Arthritis Occur In The Knee
Cartilage loss can occur between the thighbone and the shinbone in the medial portion , lateral portion and under the kneecap.
- Thinning of the cartilage under the kneecap is called patellofemoral arthritis .
- Some patients have cartilage loss in one, two or all of these areas. When all three areas are affected, this is called tricompartmental arthritis.
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What Can I Expect If I Have Post
You should expect to feel some discomfort, but treatment should reduce your pain, stiffness and other symptoms. How long it takes to feel better depends on the original trauma that caused your arthritis. More serious injuries have longer recovery timelines and are more likely to experience complications. Talk to your provider about your specific injury and post-traumatic arthritis.
How long does post-traumatic arthritis last?
Most people have post-traumatic arthritis short-term, usually around a few months. Your symptoms might go away as your body recovers from your trauma. If you experience post-traumatic arthritis symptoms for longer than six months you could have chronic post-traumatic arthritis, which can last for the rest of your life.
Will I need to miss work or school?
If you can do your job or schoolwork without aggravating your arthritis symptoms, you shouldnt need to miss work or school.
Talk to your healthcare provider or surgeon before resuming any physical activities while youre recovering.
What is the outlook for post-traumatic arthritis?
Post-traumatic arthritis is something you might only have for a few months. But, if you have chronic post-traumatic arthritis, youll have to manage it as a long-term condition. Your provider will help you find the best ways to manage your specific symptoms while you heal.
Why You Should Get A Gel Knee Injection
1) Gel knee shots are for patients who find other treatments ineffective
This course of action is recommended for patients who dont experience relief from physical therapy or other injections. Additionally, patients with diabetes often choose gel shots since corticosteroid injections another common treatment raise blood sugar levels. If overused, cortisone can deteriorate cartilage in knees, while gel shots do not.
2) Gel knee shots last longer than other treatment options
A typical regimen of gel shots consists of three to five weekly injections. Patients can then enjoy pain relief from osteoarthritis for up to six months on average.
3) Gel knee shots are approved by the FDA
The FDA approved the first gel injections in the late 90s. There are now more than six different brands available. All of them have been deemed equally effective by independent clinical trials.
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Causes For Arthritis In The Knee
Causes for arthritis that you cannot choose, such as biological factors:
- Having a family history of arthritis
- Old age, since the chances increase as you grow older
- Having had a previous injury in the joint that could increase cartilage breakdown or make the joint weaker
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Symptoms Of Knee Joint Oa
People with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis have a wide variety of symptoms, including :
- Joint pain, ranging from mild to incapacitating
- Joint stiffness, mostly in the morning
- Swelling of varying degrees
- Cracking, grinding, and other joint noises
- Visual deformity of the knee in advanced cases
At first, you may feel pain with weight-bearing activities, like standing, walking, or climbing stairs.
But, as the degeneration progresses, the pain in the affected joint may be present at rest, too. It can make it hard for you to lay down or sleep.
Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
Knee OA is a very common source of pain that can limit your mobility.
Causes of Knee OA
The cause of OA is unknown. These risk factors make it more likely you will develop knee OA:
- Age: OA can occur at any time of life, but it is most common in older adults.
- Sex: Women are more likely to have knee OA than men.
- Obesity: Being overweight adds stress to your knees. Fat cells also make proteins that can cause inflammation in and around your joints.
- Injuries: Any knee injury, even old ones, can lead to knee OA.
- Repeated stress: Frequent stress on your knee from your job or playing sports can increase risk for OA.
- Genetics: You can inherit a tendency to develop OA.
- Bone deformities: If you have crooked bones or joints, you are at higher risk.
- Some metabolic diseases: Diabetes and hemochromatosis, a condition in which your blood has too much iron, have been linked to OA
Symptoms of knee OA develop slowly and worsen over time.
- Pain: Movement causes pain. Sometimes your knee will ache while sitting still.
- Stiffness: Your knees may be stiff first thing in the morning or after sitting for a long time.
- Loss of motion: Over time, you may lose the ability to bend and straighten your knee all the way.
- Creaking and grating : You may hear crackling noises or feel a grating sensation.
- Instability: Your knee may give out or buckle, or feel like it could.
- Locking: The knee may lock or stick.
- Swelling: Your knee may get puffy all around or on one side.
Your doctor will check for:
How Is Knee Arthritis Treated Nonsurgically
The severity of your arthritis will determine the most appropriate course of action. For early-stage arthritis, effective treatments include:
- Physical therapy
In more advanced cases, the following can be effective at relieving your symptoms:
Patients with arthritis typically have to undergo some lifestyle modifications. If specific activities make your symptoms worse, then avoiding those activities can provide relief. Low-impact exercises such as cycling, elliptical, swimming, and light strength training are the best options.
Oral anti-inflammatory medicines may be effective at decreasing inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. However, some people suffer from side effects while taking them. If you experience anything unusual when taking these medications, contact your doctor immediately to determine if continued use is appropriate.
Unloader knee braces
Your doctor may prescribe an unloader brace. This brace relieves the pressure on the worn area of the joint. You will need to wear this brace when participating in such activities as walking, hiking, and sports. For some, this brace may provide significant symptomatic relief, allowing the enjoyment of physical activity again.
There is no limit to the total number of knee injections you can have, and long-term steroid injection treatment does not cause any further damage to the joint.
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