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Knee pain is perhaps one of the commonest Orthopedic problem in our country. A large number of patients visit doctors for Knee arthritis leading to pain, difficulty in walking & also deformity . There are many who indulge in self treatment or take treatment from quacks which can cause damage to their Knee Joint. A basic idea about the causes of Knee Pain & various treatment available is essential for proper management of Knee Problems.
The commonest reason for Knee Arthritis is Osteoarthritis ( Wear & Tear due to aging process). Some other causes include Rheumatoid Arthritis or Arthritis following injury or infection.
Early Arthritis can be managed by medicines (Calcium & Vit- D Supplements, cartilage protective supplements & mild analgesics). Another important aspect of management of early arthritis includes Exercises & Physiotherapy. Strengthening exercises for the thigh muscles are integral part in management of Knee arthritis. Sometimes if pain persists even after physiotherapy or medications one can consider injections in the Knee Joint. If given judiciously Injections can give good relief & don’t cause any harm.
Advance Arthritis where medicines & Physiotherapy has failed requires surgery. If Arthritis involves one part of the joint only then alignment correction surgery ( Osteotomy) or Partial Knee Replacement can be done. But if the Arthritis involves the whole joint then only Total Knee Replacement is effective.
Total knee replacements involves replacing the damaged cartilage with Artificial metal caps and balancing the ligaments. TKR is a very effective procedure giving remarkable pain relief, correcting deformity & thus improving the quality of patient’s life. With modern knee implants & precise replacement techniques, patients can regain near normal movements & can go back to their normal life very quickly. They can even pursue gentle sports such as swimming, cycling or playing Golf.
Osteoarthritis is a natural degenerative process due to aging. But its progress can be slowed if one can keep weight under check & do exercises regularly to strengthen the muscles & bones. Its also very essential to take proper nutrition ( Balanced diet containing adequate calcium, proteins ) & extra supplements if needed.