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Osteoarthritis of the Knee and Total Knee Replacement

As one ages gracefully, there are several challenges that come in the way, especially revolving around health and wellness. Among others, one such problem is the wear and tear of the cartilage of the knee. More commonly known as osteoarthritis of the knee, this ailment results when the natural cushioning of the knee, which is the cartilage, wears away. Invariably, the bone joints start coming in close contact and create friction which leads to pain, discomfort, swelling and subsequently, restriction in movement. While other parts of the body are also susceptible to arthritis, osteoarthritis of the knee is one of the most common forms.

Osteoarthritis of the Knee: Are you at Risk?

It is common knowledge that most people develop osteoarthritis of the knee with age. However, there are other factors in place which might trigger this condition at a younger age. These commonly include:

  • Weight and gender: It is no surprise that as weight increases, the pressure on one’s needs stands to increase significantly. Therefore, being obese can render you more susceptible to osteoarthritis of the knee than others. At the same time, women after the age of 55 years are more vulnerable than their male counterparts. 
  • Nature of work: Those who are routinely involved in activities that are likely to strain the joint with repetitive kneeling, squatting, etc. are at a greater risk. This generally results in the overuse of the joint leading to vulnerability.
  • Other illness or injuries: Finally, injuries to the knees or other illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis or metabolic disorders can lead to premature osteoarthritis of the knee

Preventing Osteoarthritis

Preventing Osteoarthritis

While there is no way to completely eliminate one’s vulnerability to osteoarthritis of the knee, there are some ways that can prevent or at least delay its onset. Firstly, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes weight management, control of blood sugar, and regular physical activity. Secondly, it is important to avoid overuse of the joint. Thirdly, it is advisable to prevent injuries to the joint. This involves being mindful of the way you move to avoid an unconscious fall, as well as wearing environment suited gear, especially when it comes to sports.

Total Knee Replacement: A Way Out of Osteoarthritis

Total Knee Replacement

Treatments for patients with Osteoarthritis of the knee vary greatly depending upon the nature of the ailment. Patients with less severity can be treated with medication and exercises. However, when it comes to patients with severe functional impairment, total knee replacement surgery is the best bet. Put simply, it is a surgical procedure which involves the replacement of the affected knee with an artificial joint to enable mobility and relieve pain. Technically speaking, it involves the removal of a very minimal amount of the bone around the knee joint and its replacement with metal shells on both sides. Knee replacement surgery cost can vary across geographies and facilities that you seek.

Total knee replacement is often followed by physical therapy to stabilize the knee and prepare it for complete mobility. It is vital for the patients to continue with simple home exercises and physical therapy for sometime after the surgery to ensure muscle strength and joint stability.

In a nutshell, osteoarthritis of the knee is a fairly common ailment among the ageing population. While most cases benefit from exercises, medication and some precautions, others require total knee replacement and sustained medical care. In case you are feeling a repetitive discomfort in your knee joint, do visit us for a quick consultation with an orthopedic surgeon for knee replacement.

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