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Battling Knee Osteoarthritis: Innovative Treatments and Effective Management

Understanding Knee Osteoarthritis: Symptoms, Causes, and Management -Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease characterised by the breakdown of cartilage in the knee joint. This condition is one of the most common forms of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. It typically develops gradually and can cause significant pain, stiffness and mobility issues - Hydrogel Injection the game changer!

Anatomy of the Knee - Understanding Knee Osteoarthritis

To understand knee osteoarthritis, it's essential to have a basic grasp of the knee's anatomy. The knee joint is where the femur (thighbone), tibia (shinbone), and patella (kneecap) meet. Cartilage, a smooth, rubbery tissue, covers the ends of these bones, allowing them to glide smoothly against each other and absorb shock during movement. Additionally, the knee contains synovial fluid, which lubricates the joint, reducing friction and wear.


Causes of Knee Osteoarthritis

Knee osteoarthritis results from a combination of factors, including:

  1. Age: The risk of developing knee OA increases with age as cartilage naturally wears down over time.

  2. Genetics: A family history of osteoarthritis can increase susceptibility.

  3. Obesity: Excess body weight puts additional stress on knee joints, accelerating cartilage breakdown.

  4. Injury: Previous knee injuries, such as fractures or ligament tears, can predispose individuals to OA.

  5. Overuse: Repetitive stress on the knee from activities or occupations that involve heavy lifting, kneeling, or squatting can contribute to the development of OA.

  6. Joint Malalignment: Abnormal joint structures, such as bowed legs or knocked knees, can cause uneven weight distribution, leading to increased wear and tear.



Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis

Knee osteoarthritis symptoms can vary from mild to severe and include:

  1. Pain: Typically worsens with activity and improves with rest. Pain can be felt in the knee itself or radiate to surrounding areas.

  2. Stiffness: Particularly noticeable in the morning or after periods of inactivity.

  3. Swelling: Due to inflammation or increased synovial fluid production.

  4. Decreased Range of Motion: Difficulty fully bending or straightening the knee.

  5. Crepitus: A grinding or clicking sensation when moving the knee.

  6. Weakness: Muscles around the knee may weaken due to disuse or altered gait patterns to avoid pain.


Diagnosis

Diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis typically involves a combination of:

  1. Medical History: Including symptom duration, previous injuries and family history.

  2. Physical Examination: Assessing pain, range of motion and joint stability.

  3. Imaging: X-rays can reveal joint space narrowing, bone spurs, and other changes indicative of OA. MRI may be used to evaluate soft tissue damage.


Knee Osteoarthritis - Management and Treatment

While there is no cure for knee osteoarthritis, several treatment options can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life:

  1. Lifestyle Modifications:

  • Weight Management: Losing excess weight can significantly reduce stress on the knee joints.

  • Exercise: Low-impact activities such as swimming, cycling, and walking can help maintain joint function and muscle strength, best is a customised physiotherapy routine to suit your exact needs and conditions.


Medications:

  1. Analgesics: Pain relievers like acetaminophen.

  2. NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can reduce pain and inflammation.

  3. Topical Treatments: Creams and ointments applied directly to the knee.


Physical Therapy: Exercise Prescription

  1. Tailored exercises to strengthen muscles around the knee, improve flexibility, and enhance joint stability.

  2. Techniques to improve gait and reduce joint strain.


Assistive Devices:

  1. Braces or orthotic inserts to support the knee and improve alignment.

  2. Canes or walkers to alleviate pressure on the knee.


Injection Therapy:

  1. Corticosteroids: Provide temporary relief from inflammation and pain.

  2. Hyaluronic Acid: Helps lubricate the joint.

  3. Arthrosamid Injection: A newer option that uses a hydrogel to provide longer-lasting pain relief and improved joint function (discussed in detail below).


Surgical Options - You can discuss these with Mark Higgins our Fit2Go Hip & Knee Surgeon

  1. Arthroscopy: Minimally invasive procedure to remove damaged cartilage.

  2. Osteotomy: Realigns bones to reduce pressure on the knee joint.

  3. Partial or Total Knee Replacement: In severe cases, damaged joint surfaces are replaced with artificial components.



Arthrosamid Injection Therapy

Arthrosamid injection therapy is an innovative treatment option for knee osteoarthritis that has shown promise in providing long-lasting pain relief and improving joint function. This treatment involves injecting a hydrogel directly into the knee joint.

How Arthrosamid Works:

  • Composition: Arthrosamid is composed of a non-degradable, biocompatible hydrogel that integrates into the soft tissues of the joint.

  • Mechanism: Once injected, the hydrogel expands and remains in the joint space, acting as a cushion that reduces friction and load on the knee cartilage. This cushioning effect helps alleviate pain and improves joint function.


Benefits:

  1. Long-Lasting Relief: Unlike corticosteroids, which may provide only temporary relief, Arthrosamid can offer more sustained benefits.

  2. Minimal Side Effects: The hydrogel is designed to be biocompatible, reducing the risk of adverse reactions.

  3. Non-Surgical: As a minimally invasive procedure, it provides an alternative to more invasive surgical options.


Procedure:

  • The injection is typically performed in a clinical setting under local anesthesia. The process involves a single injection into the knee joint, and patients can often resume normal activities shortly after the procedure.


Effectiveness:

  • Clinical studies have demonstrated significant improvements in pain and function for patients treated with Arthrosamid, with effects lasting up to several years. However, individual responses can vary and ongoing research continues to refine and validate its long-term efficacy and safety.

MEET JAMES TOMLINSON - FIT2GO ARTHROSAMID SPECIALIST

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Knee osteoarthritis is a prevalent condition that can significantly impact daily life. Early diagnosis and a comprehensive management plan tailored to individual needs are crucial for reducing symptoms and maintaining mobility. By combining lifestyle modifications, medical treatments, and possibly surgical interventions, individuals with knee OA can achieve improved function and a better quality of life. Innovative treatments like Arthrosamid injection therapy offer new hope for those seeking long-term relief. If you suspect you have knee osteoarthritis, consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalised treatment plan.




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