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Knee Arthritis

Relieve Your Knee Pain Today!

What is arthritis? Arthritis simply means loss of cartilage within a joint. Cartilage is the joint's cushion. It covers the ends of bones and allows free movement. If it becomes rough, frays, or wears away, bones grind against each other. As a result, the joint becomes irritated, inflamed, stiff and swollen. Sometimes the irritation causes abnormal bone growths, called spurs, which increase swelling. Most partial knee replacements are done on the inside of the knee or the medial compartment. A small minority of patients have arthritis isolated to the outside of the knee or the lateral compartment.

What is Knee Arthritis?

Arthritis simply means loss of cartilage within a joint. Cartilage is the joint's cushion. It covers the ends of bones and allows free movement. If it becomes rough, frays, or wears away, bones grind against each other. As a result, the joint becomes irritated, inflamed, stiff and swollen. Sometimes the irritation causes abnormal bone growths, called spurs, which increase swelling.

Most partial knee replacements are done on the inside of the knee or the medial compartment. A small minority of patients have arthritis isolated to the outside of the knee or the lateral compartment.

The following two types of arthritis can be treated with a partial knee replacement:

  • Osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis, is the most common type of arthritis. The exact cause of osteoarthritis is not known, but excessive wear on joints is known to be an important factor. Obesity, bad posture, old injuries, and overuse can all cause extra wear on joints. Heredity also appears to play a role.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that attacks multiple joints throughout the body, including the knee joint. It usually affects the both knee joints. The synovial membrane that covers the knee joint begins to swell resulting in knee pain and stiffness.
  • Post-traumatic arthritis can follow a serious trauma or fracture injury involving the knee joint. When a prior trauma, such as a fall or car accident may cause damage to the cartilage over time, causing knee pain and limiting range of motion and function of the knee.

Symptoms of Knee Arthritis

A knee joint affected by arthritis may be painful and inflamed. Typically, the knee pain caused by arthritis is gradual over time which eventually leads to a loss of motion and function. Below is a list of the most common symptoms associated with knee arthritis:

  • Gradual increase in knee pain
  • Swelling or tenderness of the knee joint
  • Buckling or locking of the knee
  • Cracking or popping of the knee
  • Poor range of motion
  • Loss of joint space
  • Deformities of the knee

Knee Arthritis Treatments

While there is no cure for knee arthritis, there are several treatments that can help relieve the pain associated to it and restore motion and function of the knee joint.

Nonsurgical Treatments

Lifestyle modifications can slow the progression of knee arthritis and protect your knee joint from further damage. These adjustments include the following:

  • Modifications to your diet to help lose weight can help reduce the amount of stress put on the knee joint, resulting in less knee pain and improved function.
  • Minimize activities that aggravate your knee, such as climbing stairs.
  • Avoiding high-impact sports like tennis or jogging and switching to low-impact sports like swimming or cycling which put less stress on your knee.

Other nonsurgical treatments for knee arthritis include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs – ibuprofen or naproxen)
  • Injections
    • Image-guided steroid injections
    • Corticosteroids or cortisone shots
    • Biologic treatments
      • Hydraulic Acid / Viscosupplementation Injection ¹
      • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections ²
¹ Check with your insurance provider prior to treatment as some insurance companies have deemed Viscosupplementation as not being a “medically necessary” procedure.
² PRP Injections are not yet approved by the FDA and therefore are considered an experimental medical procedure and are not covered by insurance.

Surgical Treatments

Your knee surgeon at Newport Orthopedic Institute will recommend knee surgery if conservative treatment options have been exhausted and you still have persistent knee pain or if your range of motion issues are preventing you from being able to perform daily activities.

  • Partial Knee Replacement is a surgical option for patients with arthritis in one part of the knee. It involves removal of the damaged cartilage and bone, and then inserting new metal or plastic implants to restore the function of your knee.
  • Total knee replacement, also referred to as total knee arthroplasty (TKA), is a minimally invasive procedure where the damaged cartilage or arthritic bone surfaces are removed and replaced with an artificial joint (prosthesis) to restore the knee joint function and relieve knee pain.

Get Relief from Knee Pain Today!
Schedule an appointment with a Newport Orthopedic Institute Knee Surgeon in Orange County by calling (949) 722-7038.

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