Living with knee osteoarthritis can be challenging. But managing its symptoms can change how you live your life ahead. While many surgical and non-surgical options exist, keeping a positive outlook can be the first step towards your healthy life.
As we journey through life, our bodies change and adapt to the various challenges we face. One common challenge that many individuals encounter as they age is the onset of joint issues. Among these, knee osteoarthritis stands as one of the most prevalent and impactful conditions, affecting millions of people worldwide. At AgEasy by Antara, we're dedicated to empowering seniors with a comprehensive understanding of knee osteoarthritis. From demystifying its causes and recognizing early symptoms to unveiling effective management and prevention strategies, our platform serves as your trusted resource. Join us in embracing knowledge as the first step towards better knee health, and let's navigate the path to comfort and vitality together.
Understanding Knee Osteoarthritis: The Basics
Knee osteoarthritis is a type of osteoarthritis that affects the knee joint. In this, the joint cartilage1 starts degrading, causing the bones to rub each other and causing friction between them. This leads to pain, swelling, and a grinding feeling in the joint.
Causes and Risk Factors
Several factors contribute to the development of knee osteoarthritis. One of the primary factors is age. As we age, the cartilage in our joints naturally undergoes wear and tear, making it more susceptible to damage. Genetics also play a role; if you have a family history of osteoarthritis, you may be more predisposed to developing the condition.
Other risk factors include obesity, which places additional stress on the knees, and previous knee injuries. Athletes or individuals with physically demanding jobs that involve repetitive knee movements are at a higher risk due to the increased strain on the joint. Additionally, gender may also play a role, as women are more likely to develop knee osteoarthritis than men.
Understanding family and medical history to find more information about the cause of the disorder.
Physical examination, where the affected knee region is checked for any tenderness, popping or cracking sounds, pain levels, joint flexibility, and limb range of motion.
An X-ray of the knee joint is taken to confirm the findings. It offers precise and clear images of the knee joint and may show bone growths or joint constriction, the traditional markers for identifying knee osteoarthritis.
Management and Treatment options
Even though osteoarthritis has no known cure and is an irreversible disease, there are various ways for an affected person to take care of themselves and live a happy and healthy life.
There are two treatment options available: i) Surgical Treatment ii) Non-surgical treatment.
Surgical treatment options usually include procedures that require doctors' assistance to repair the damaged part of the body. These treatments are generally taken after exhaustion of non-surgical management.
The surgery option for knee osteoarthritis are:
There are non-surgical options also, which are preferred by the patients as these are self-management options that the patient can take up at their own pace and time.
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1 - Cartilage: A smooth and flexible tissue that cushions and protects the ends of bones in joints.
2 - Osteotomy: A surgical procedure where a bone is cut and reshaped to relieve pressure on damaged areas.
3 - Arthroscopy: A minimally invasive medical procedure that uses a small camera to view and treat problems inside a joint.