Knee osteoarthritis is a prevalent, yet often undertreated, condition that predominantly affects individuals over the age of 50. Characterised by progressive pain during activities such as ambulation or stair climbing, this condition can advance to the point of causing deformities in the knees and a distinctive waddling gait. Unfortunately, it significantly impacts daily life, leading individuals to shy away from social gatherings, shopping, and even basic exercise due to discomfort and mobility limitations. Misconceptions surrounding the disease and its treatment contribute to patients’ reluctance to seek help from Orthopaedic surgeons.
The Pitfalls of Improper Treatment
Regrettably, patients frequently turn to local osteopaths or untrained individuals who prescribe chronic painkillers and steroids. While these remedies may provide temporary relief, they can have detrimental effects on vital organs, including the kidneys, bones, and cardiovascular system. In addition, the underlying cause of the pain remains unaddressed, leading to a cycle of symptom management rather than disease modification.
Tailored Management for Better Outcomes
In the hands of experts, managing knee osteoarthritis is a straightforward process, tailored to the severity of the disease and accompanying symptoms. In many cases, especially during the earlier stages, surgical intervention is unnecessary. Instead, simple lifestyle adjustments such as avoiding extreme positions like sitting cross-legged or squatting, engaging in targeted exercises, and achieving weight loss can significantly alleviate pain. Patients in intermediate stages may benefit from minor surgeries such as osteotomies to correct bony alignment.
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Total Knee Replacement: Demystifying a Vital Procedure
For individuals in advanced stages, total knee replacement may become a necessary consideration. This procedure, widely performed across the globe, is surrounded by various misconceptions. In reality, it is a straightforward surgery with outstanding outcomes. Patients are often able to walk on the same day as the surgery and regain basic mobility functions. Typically, they use a walker for approximately three weeks, after which they can walk independently. The relief from pain is profound, allowing patients to engage in activities like walking long distances, climbing stairs, and even jogging. This surgery stands as a highly rewarding intervention that can dramatically enhance the overall quality of life for those affected by knee osteoarthritis.
Knee osteoarthritis is a condition that can significantly impact daily life. However, it is important to remember that there are effective treatment options available. By seeking expert medical advice, patients can develop a personalised treatment plan that addresses their individual needs and goals. With proper management, individuals with knee osteoarthritis can live active and fulfilling lives.