3 Best Arthritis Treatments for the Knee

Posted Jan 14, 2013 | Posted in Diseases & Treatments

Dr. Vande Lune Arthritis TreatmentDr. Daniel Vande Lune, orthopedic surgeon at University Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and a member of Johnston Health’s medical staff, recently gave a Health Chat on evaluating and treating arthritis of the knee.  Here are some key suggestions for arthritis treatment from Dr. Vande Lune.

One in five adults in the United States has been diagnosed with arthritis. It is estimated that by 2030, 67 million Americans over the age of 18 will be diagnosed.  During your lifetime, there’s a good chance that you or someone you know will be affected by arthritis, so it’s important to know as much as you can about arthritis treatment.

What is arthritis? Arthritis refers to an irritated joint, which usually stems from a degeneration or loss of cartilage.  Arthritis has many causes, with some of the most common being genetics, trauma, infection, weight and inflammatory diseases.

Common symptoms of arthritis of the knee:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Catching/Popping
  • Deformity
  • Giving way
  • Weakness
  • Stiffness

There are many treatment options available if you are suffering from arthritis of the knee.  You should have a thorough examination to determine the nature and location of pain, how it is affecting you, what your family history is like, and what remedies you have already tried.  Your physician will give you a physical exam and X-rays or a MRI, if necessary, before determining a course of arthritis treatment.

Arthritis Treatment Options

Exercise

  • Losing weight will lesson the amount of stress put on the knees when standing and walking, and can help reduce overall pain
  • Non-impact exercises such as cycling, swimming and using an elliptical can help you lose weight and build strength
  • Strengthening muscles such as quadriceps, the core and hip abductors/flexors can help relieve the symptoms of arthritis in the knee
  • Using braces or a walking aid will alleviate stress on the knees when walking

Medication

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, are usually the first steps taken to reduce pain and swelling in the knees
  • Taking joint supplements such as chondroitin and glucosamine can help produce more cartilage “building blocks” to increase the formation of new cartilage
  • Cortisone injections can help reduce areas of high inflammation and decrease pain
  • Viscosupplementation, an injection of hyaluronic acid into the knee joint, acts as a lubricant for bones to move smoothly over each other and reduce pain

Surgery

  • Arthroscopic knee surgery repairs and removes damaged structures in the knee
  • Partial knee replacement surgery is a minimally-invasive procedure that removes the most damaged pieces of cartilage from the knee and replaces them with implants
  • Total knee replacement surgery is a major surgery that removes the damaged joint surface and replaces it with a metal and plastic implant

Whether you need to get an initial diagnosis or you are planning for surgery, Johnston Health is here to diagnose, evaluate and plan your course of arthritis treatment.

Johnston Health Orthopedic Staff:
Dr. Daniel Vande Lune, University Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, 919-550-3430
Dr. Richard Alioto, University Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, 919-550-3430
Dr. Mark Moriarty, University Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, 919-550-3430
Dr. Marc Stevens, Triangle Orthopaedic Associates, 919-934-1094
Dr. Richard Slusher, Triangle Orthopaedic Associates, 919-763-1050

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13 Responses to “3 Best Arthritis Treatments for the Knee”

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