Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common condition that leads to painful joints, difficulty in moving, and reduced ability to do day-to-day activities. It occurs when the lining surface (cartilage) of the knee bones gradually wears out and this causes pain and swelling.
Osteoarthritis is a widespread problem that is more common in females, people with previous injuries, people who are overweight, and with limb mal-alignment. The older you are the more likely you are to have symptoms of Osteoarthritis.
People with knee Osteoarthritis often have pain when walking, especially up and down stairs or on uneven ground. Getting in and out of cars or standing after sitting for a while can also be uncomfortable. On some occasions, people complain of pain when resting and difficulty sleeping.
The good news is that most people with knee osteoarthritis can be treated without surgery. Joint replacement surgery is only needed for people who have significant pain and who have not responded to non-operative treatment.
An important part of managing your symptoms is strengthening the muscles around the knee joint. You can visit a physiotherapist for a supervised program.
The best outcomes for people with osteoarthritis are to perform exercises three times a week if possible to do so. A simple exercise for strengthening the thigh muscles is to sit on a chair and straighten your leg and hold for five seconds.
Obesity is probably the most important risk factor for arthritis that a person can modify. Increasing weight is directly linked to developing knee osteoarthritis and increases the mechanical load through the joint. A weight reduction of at least five percent is recommended and can lead to an improvement in symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Making an appointment with a dietician may be appropriate.
Joint replacement surgery should only be undertaken when all other non-operative options have been tried and patients are willing to undergo an operation.
Dr. Manish Bansal is the leading Knee and Shoulder specialist in North India. He has been extensively trained in some of the best institutes in India, the UK, and Australia. His area of expertise is Arthroscopy, Sports Injuries, and Joint replacement. He is attached with some of the leading names in the Sports, Film Industry and Music Industry in North India and Punjab.