Knee Arthritis

Dr. Nakul Shah

Arthritis is disease of a joint that may invlove pain, stiffness, swelling and/ or inflammation within the joint. The causes of knee joint arthritis range from degenerative types of arthritis such as osteoarthritis, to inflammatory types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout. Treatment for the condition depends on the specific type of arthritis encountered.

Osteoarthitis
This is most often due to wear-and-tear of the knee joint, and is age and activity related. It can also be due to previous injuries of the knee as well as pre-existing malformations. Osteoarthritis most often affects individuals over the age of 50, but with increasing active lifestyles, even younger people can be affected. In the early stages, the condition can be treated by activity modification, medications and other non-surgical means. However, in more severe cases, surgery may offer the best chance of long-lasting results, and this may range from simple procedures such as arthroscopy to more complex operations such as realignment surgeries and knee replacement.

Rheumatoid and other inflammatory arthritis Osteoarthitis
This group of diseases include rheumatoid, sero-negative arthritis, systemic lupus erthematosus (SLE), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), psoriatic arthritis and other rare forms of arthritis. They are often autoimmune in nature, and the disease process can often be suppressed by medications, but not usually cured. If joints become irreversibly damaged by the disease, joint replacement is often a good option that can yield excellent results.

High tibial osteotomies (cutting bone) are commonly done procedures, which involve either a medial opening wedge or lateral closing wedge osteotomy of the proximal tibia to redirect the weight bearing forces from the medial compartment of the knee to the lateral side and reduce the intraosseous pressure thereby relieving patients of their pain and varus deformities. These surgeries can be performed bilaterally in one sitting or in a staged manner.

Gout and other crystal diseases
These conditions are caused by the presence of carious types of crystals within joints. Uric acid crystals give rise to gout, while calcium pyrophosphate crystals cause pseudogout. The crystals are responsible for pain, swelling and inflammation of joints, including the knee, ankle and foot joints. Medications can often control the acute attacks, and dietary measures may help. In severely affected knee joints, total knee replacement can often give long-lasting relief.
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