How to treat osteoarthritis of the knee can take a variety of forms, from exercise and bracing, to pharmacological and surgical options.
When the disease process is in its early stages and symptoms are mild, how to treat osteoarthritis of the knee usually consists of analgesia and a conservative program of weight loss and physical therapy. As the symptoms grow in severity, how to treat osteoarthritis of the knee also becomes more serious with a variety of surgical interventions considered. The decision to escalate treatment is dependent on the individual and their pain levels, their knowledge of the condition, and the advice of medical professionals.
To provide informed consent, one must first possess sufficient knowledge of the procedure in question, including the intended benefits and potential risks.
Options On How To Treat Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
The following summarizes the different options on how to treat osteoarthritis of the knee:
Once the pain becomes unmanageable with non-prescription medication, a medical practitioner needs to be consulted as each persons’ medical history affects which of the higher classes of drugs are suitable and safe to use. Typical medications on how to treat osteoarthritis of the knee include non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and low doses of opioids such as codeine.
The quadriceps and hamstring muscles cross over the knee joint and provide support. Due to the pain of osteoarthritis, it is typical for sufferers to be less active than previously, and muscle strength decreases. The result is a reduction in support of the knee joint, and a vicious cycle is established when more pain occurs. Exercise to increase the strength of these key muscles can stop this cycle and slow the progression of degenerative joint disease. This usually occurs with the help of a physical therapist. Weight loss is also a significant goal of this option of how to treat osteoarthritis of the knee.
If only one half of the knee (inside or outside) is affected, orthopedic bracing can help by offloading the affected side and redistributing the weight. It does not treat the affected area but can provide symptomatic relief and delay the need for more serious options.
If you have osteoarthritis of the knee, you will be prescribed medications that will relieve the pain and inflammation. You can also apply ice to the affected areas for twenty to thirty minutes twice or three times a day.
An important part of how to treat osteoarthritis of the knee is for the sufferer to rest their knee optimally. This does not mean to start leading a sedentary life, but not to do any physical activity that can make the condition worse. There are even specific exercises that you can do to strengthen the muscle around this joint. This type of exercising is essential for continuing your normal life.
Surgery is another option on how to treat osteoarthritis of the knee. This can include relatively minor procedures like arthroscopy (key-hole surgery) and continue to total knee arthroplasty or joint replacement.
Apart from using Arthroscopy as a diagnostic tool, it is also used for treatment. Through small incisions, a camera and implements are placed into the joint and the extent of the degeneration observed. Rough surfaces can be made less so, and meniscal tears trimmed. The surfaces remain worn, and the benefits vary significantly between patients. Arthroscopy rarely provides long term relief but has a low complication rate.
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