DEGENERATIVE CONDITIONS OF THE KNEE
WHAT DEGENERATIVE CONDITIONS CAN AFFECT THE KNEE?
Arthritis of the knee is one of the most common causes of knee pain. There are several types of knee arthritis. These include:
Osteoarthritis in the knee, also known as degenerative arthritis of the knee, causes the cartilage that surrounds the bone to wear away, decreasing the protective space between the bones. This causes stiffness, swelling and pain, and is most common in people over the age of 50.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects joints in various parts of the body, including the hands, wrists, knees and shoulders. The disease causes the lining of the joints to swell, causing pain and stiffness.
- Post-traumatic arthritis
Post-traumatic arthritis occurs after an injury, such as a dislocation or fracture.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF KNEE ARTHRITIS?
Symptoms of knee arthritis include:
- Knee joint pain
- Knee stiffness
- Knee swelling
HOW IS KNEE ARTHRITIS DIAGNOSED?
If you are experiencing knee pain, your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination and may choose to use x-rays to confirm the diagnosis and rule out any other potential conditions.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS AND OSTEOARTHRITIS?
Some non-surgical treatment options to delineate arthritis and osteoarthritis include:
- Special exercises to strengthen the muscles
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Cortisone injections
If your knee pain is not resolved, your doctor may recommend knee surgery. Surgery options include:
Certain types of arthritis can be treated with arthroscopy, during which your orthopaedic surgeon will clean out the inside of your joint. This procedure will provide pain relief. Dr Pirjol conducts arthroscopic debridement and partial meniscectomies in the early stages of arthritis.
- Total knee replacement
In severe cases, your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend a total knee replacement. Also known as an arthroplasty, the knee replacement procedure involves replacing damaged cartilage and bone with prosthetic components. Prosthetic components used in knee replacement are made from a range of materials, including metal and plastic. New technological advances in surgery mean that the procedure has good long-term results.
Dr Pirjol works with patients to exhaust all non-operative treatments available for degenerative diseases before recommending surgery.