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Arthritis: How to Treat Arthritis in the Knee

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Arthritis is a painful condition that stems from inflammation in the joints, and one of the more common joints affected by arthritis is the knee. This type of arthritis can be very painful—making it difficult to walk and partake in many everyday activities.

While there are no cures for arthritis, the good news is that there are treatment options for arthritis at Cameron Memorial Hospital that can provide patients with relief.

Hot and Cold Therapy Treatment

Many arthritis patients respond well to hot and/or cold therapy. Heat treatments, such as applying a heating pad to the knees, can help with muscle soreness and relieve pain. Meanwhile, cold treatments (such as the application of an ice pack) can reduce inflammation and minimize pain/discomfort as well.

Medication for Arthritis

There are many medications available that can be effective in treating arthritis. Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications are typically the first plan of action for those with arthritis. If those are not effective, some doctors may use corticosteroid intra-articular injections (such as steroid) to reduce inflammation and control pain.

Acupuncture Treatment

An ancient Chinese medical treatment known as acupuncture is another option to consider for treating arthritis of the knee. Specifically, this type of treatment works by restoring balance throughout the body to reduce pain and minimize inflammation.

While the effects of acupuncture have not been proven, many people who have had this treatment done claim that they have found relief from arthritis. Likewise, acupuncture comes with minimal risk, so long as patients seek out a licensed and certified professional to administer the treatment.

Diet and Lifestyle Changes

One of the most common recommendations for treatment of knee arthritis is changes to a patient’s diet and overall lifestyle. In some cases, for example, arthritis of the knee can be caused or aggravated/worse by being overweight. When a person with arthritis is overweight, the additional weight will cause extra strain on the knee joints, which will worsen swelling and pain. By losing weight, some patients will find significant relief from their symptoms.

Even in those who are of a healthy weight and suffering from knee arthritis, increasing activity with exercise can actually help to manage symptoms. Specifically, regular exercise helps to keep joints flexible and can also strengthen the muscles around the joints to offer additional support. The key is to stick with low-impact aerobic exercises, such as bicycling, walking and water activities.

Following a healthy diet may also make a difference when it comes to relieving arthritis pain. Certain foods can worsen inflammation and make arthritis pain worse. By sticking with a clean diet that is free of processed foods and added sugar and carbs, it may be possible to reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system.

Surgical Treatment for Severe Arthritis

For more severe cases of knee arthritis, surgical treatment may be recommended. There are a few different surgical procedures that can be effective at treating arthritis of the knee, including:

1

Arthroscopy: where a small incision is used to treat torn meniscus and tissue

2

Osteotomy: where the tibia or femur is reshaped to reduce pressure on the knee joint itself

3

Arthroplasty (or partial/total knee replacement): where damaged bone and cartilage is removed and a prosthetic joint takes its place

The treatment that is right for any given patient will vary greatly based on several factors, including the severity of the arthritis and damage to the joint. An experienced Orthopedic Surgeon/Nurse Practitioner will be able to make the correct recommendation after a thorough physical examination and consultation with the patient.

Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

One of the most effective treatments for arthritis of the knee after surgery is orthopaedic physical therapy. This type of therapy works to improve strength in the muscles around the knee, which can help to reduce arthritis pain over time. Meanwhile, orthopedic physical therapy can work to restore the knee’s range of motion.

How a Cameron Orthopaedic Specialist Can Help Treat Arthritis

Although arthritis of the knee can be very painful and debilitating, there are plenty of effective treatments that can reduce inflammation, minimize pain, and allow patients to lead more active lives. From basic diet and lifestyle changes, activity modification, exercise, orthopedic physical therapy to surgery; there are many treatment options to consider.

If you’re suffering from arthritis of the knee, our experienced orthopedic team at Cameron Memorial Hospital is here to help. We offer a wide range of treatment options, including orthopedic physical therapy and an on staff dietitian. Contact us today to find out more and to schedule your consultation with our Orthopedics Surgeon in Indiana today!

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