Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. Some people call it degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis. It occurs most frequently in the hands, hips, and knees.
Osteoarthritis affects about 20% of adults, and its incidence is expected to increase due to aging of the population, dietary and lifestyle factors, and increasing rates of obesity .With OA, the cartilage within a joint begins to break down and the underlying bone begins to change. These changes usually develop slowly and get worse over time.
Knee OA is classified as either primary or secondary, depending on its causes
Primary knee OA is the result of articular cartilage degeneration without any known reason. This is typically thought of as degeneration due to age as well as wear and tear.
Secondary knee OA is the result of articular cartilage degeneration due to a known reason.
The intensity of the clinical symptoms may vary for each individual. However, they typically become more severe, more frequent, and more debilitating over time. The rate of progression also varies for each individual.
What to look out for?
· Swelling and stiffness especially in the morning
· Redness and warmth to the touch
· Weakness or instability, making it difficult to get in and out of chairs or cars, use the stairs, or walk
· Inability to fully straighten the knee
What are the risk factors for OA?
· Age-The risk of developing OA increases with age.
· Gender-Women are more likely to develop OA than men, especially after age 50.
· Occupation – prolonged standing and repetitive knee bending
· Joint injury
· Genetics—People who have family members with OA are more likely to develop OA.
Can we treat it?
Treatment for knee osteoarthritis begins with conservative methods and progresses to surgical treatment options when conservative treatment fails. The focus to the prevention and treatment in the early stage of the disease. A wide range of non-surgical modalities is available here all across the centres for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.
Please note, these interventions do not alter the underlying disease process, but they may substantially diminish pain and disability.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options here at TAGS:
· Patient education
· Activity modification
· Physical therapy-A combination of supervised physiotherapy, home exercise program and application of extracorporeal shockwave therapy been shown to have the best results.
· Weight loss-is valuable in all stages of knee osteoarthritis
· Knee bracing- includes unloading type of braces that shift the load away from the involved knee compartment
· Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are available as dietary supplements will aid in the health of articular cartilage.