KNEE ARTHRITIS                                                KANDIL NOTES

INTRODUCTION

  • Knee arthritis is a degenerative process where the cartilage thins and wears down over time

  • This can lead to bone-on-bone arthritis where the cushion layer of the knee is gone resulting in bone pain and joint swelling

  • Knee arthritis is very common and affects both males and females

  • There are different types of arthritis including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis

  • The direct cause of knee arthritis is not known although there are numerous risk factors

CAUSES 

  • Risk factors for knee arthritis include increased age, weight, hereditary factors, previous injury, and profession

  • Knee pain with walking, bending, and stairs is common in patients with knee arthritis

  • Knee pain is usually present at baseline but becomes worse with activity and weightbearing

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

  • Knee swelling can sometimes occur, especially with arthritis flare-ups

TREATMENT​​

  • Physical Therapy is important to improve strength and maintain range of motion to prevent weakness and stiffness

  • Knee sleeves or unloader braces may be indicated in some patients

  • Corticosteroid injections can decrease inflammation and pain but have diminishing returns

  • Gel injections composed of hyaluronic acid can help lubricate the joint and decrease pain

  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and stem cell injections have promising results for the treatment of mild to moderate knee arthritis. Numerous high-quality studies show improvement in symptoms and many show a significant improvement compared to other conservative options

  • Total  Knee Replacement is indicated in patients with persistent symptoms and functional impairment whose symptoms persist despite trying some of the above conservative management options

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  • Optimizing your modifiable risk factors may improve symptoms and slow progression of arthritis. This includes:

  • Avoiding heavy load bearing activities such as stairs, walking/jogging up inclines or declines can decrease the load on your knee and improve symptoms

 PREVENTION

  • Maintaining a healthy weight will decrease the loads on your knee and may improve pain

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