Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Description Of The Injury: Osteoarthritis of the knee happens to be the most common arthritis problem of the body. Knee osteoarthritis is the degeneration of the cartilage in the knee joint that is situated between the femur and tibia bone. This disease gradually occurs via wear and tear combined with the presence of enzymes that damage the existing cartilage. This disease commonly affects people over 45 years of age.

Injury Symptoms: The classic sign of knee osteoarthritis is reoccurring joint knee pain that worsens during activity and then gets better during rest. The knee may also be stiff and the pain may either be a dull aching or may intermittently become intense. A crackling like noise may also occur when actively moving.

Additional Information

Home Treatments:

The severity of knee osteoarthritis can be reduced by getting adequate amount of rest during physical activities that involve repetitive flexing at the knee. Ice should be used 20 minutes at a time, every 3-4 hours to reduce the inflammation. Heat can also be alternatively applied for 20 minutes at a time, 2-3 times per day in order to reduce the stiffness of the joint.

Professional Medical Treatments:

A professional may prescribe COX 2 inhibitor drugs to reduce inflammation. Artificial joint fluid may also be injected to relieve pain. Severe knee osteoarthritis may need surgery. This can involve arthroscopic surgery where torn and damaged cartilage due to arthritis is removed, or osteotomy where the one or several bones are realigned in order to reduce excess pressure on the cartilage and knee joint.

Physical Therapy and Exercises:

Low impact exercises like stationary cycling and swimming will be recommended. They will provide improvement in nearby muscle and tendon strength without exposing the cartilage to high impact stresses. This may be combined with certain exercises like the modified squat – where knees are bent as if going to sit in a standard chair. This allows the knee to flex but does not submit the cartilage to considerable stress as opposed to a full squat where the knee bends deeply.

Exercise Techniques to Prevent Injury:

Initial prevention of this injury involves maintaining a healthy weight in order to reduce excess stress on the joint. Care and rest should be used when participating in activities that require repetitive impact on the knee joint such as long distance running. The knee joints and nearby muscles should be kept flexible via standard stretches such as the quad stretch, the wall slide, the butter fly stretch and many others. Nearby muscles should be kept in strong condition via weight training exercises such as leg presses and leg curls as well as via swimming.

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