OSTEOARTHRITIS OF THE KNEE
What is Osteoarthritis?
Many people over the age of 40 suffer from the effects of osteoarthritis. Many people suffer from constant pain associated with the condition. Osteoarthritis is a debilitating disease that can cause pain everytime you perform a physical activity. It is a degenerative condition characterized by the damage caused to the cartilage in the joints of the body. Cartilage can be found in many areas of the body and it holds the bones together.
Healthy cartilage works as shock absorbers for the body and keeps the joints moving smoothly and easily. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage begins to breakdown and become damaged over time due to wear and tear. The most common areas of the body that develop osteoarthritis are the knees, this is so because the knees carry most of a person’s body weight.
Causes And Risk Factors
As mentioned above, age and constant use contribute to the development of osteoarthritis especially in the knees. In fact, people who are older, or female, or who have jobs that require a lot of stress placed on the knees are at higher risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knee. Other factors that can contribute to osteoarthritis in the knees are obesity, injuries to the joints, constant stress placed on the knee joints, certain diseases, genetics or bone deformities.
The breakdown of cartilage in the knees doesn’t happen overnight. The process is gradual but deterioration can be sped up through repetitive motion or trauma. When cartilage begins to deteriorate the bones are left unprotected. When the cartilage or cushion between the bones wears down this causes the bones to rub together. When this occurs a person will experience chronic discomfort and may develop a bony growth called a bone spur. The development of bone spurs can contribute to a person’s knee pain.
A person suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee may experience several different symptoms. Some of these symptoms include:
Pain or tenderness
Weakness of the knee
Buckling when walking
Inability to bend or straighten the knee
Pain when standing too long
Severe pain when walking or running
Popping or cracking sounds when walking
If a person is suffering from the symptoms above, it’s important to contact Davis Orthopedics. Our Prescott Valley Arizona office is trained in the latest techniques and therapies to help treat osteoarthritis of the knee. The treatment options offered at our office depend on each person’s unique case and on the severity of the arthritis. If the condition is in its early stages, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can be used. Corticosteroid injections have been shown to be an effective treatment of osteoarthritis.
Other treatment options Davis Orthopedics may recommend include using a knee brace, physical therapy, heat treatment or weight loss recommendations to help remove stress on the joint. If these treatments are unsuccessful and the deterioration continues, the patient may have to undergo surgery. Severe cases may require knee replacement surgery. Early detection is key to treating the condition before it worsens. If you are suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee contact our office today to learn more about our treatments.