What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis also called degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis. It tend to occur later in life , although in some situations it can develop earlier . Osteoarthritis affects the tissue covering the ends of bones in a joint (cartilage).In a person with osteoarthritis, the cartilage becomes damaged and worn out causing pain, swelling, stiffness and restricted movement in the affected joint. This condition most commonly affects the joints in the hips, knees, hands, and spine.
Causes and risk factors
Osteoarthritis is caused by the wearing out of the cartilage covering the bone ends in a joint. While genetics plays a role , some predisposing factors include being overweight, excessive strain over prolonged periods of time, previous fracture, growth abnormalities, joint diseases, injury or deformity.
Some people have congenital abnormalities of the joints that cause early degeneration and subsequently cause osteoarthritis.
The diagnosis is based on medical history, a physical examination and X-rays of the affected joint. An X-ray of the knee may show a loss of the joint space and bone spur formation.
The objective of the treatment is to reduce pain, improve joint movement, and prevent further damage to the joint. The treatment of osteoarthritis involves:
Medications may include different classes such as anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid injections, artificial joint fluid injections, and other drugs.
Some of the lifestyle modifications include:
- A moderate exercise program
- Use of heat or cold treatments
- Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet
- Getting adequate rest
- Losing weight
- Protecting your joints with the use of assistive devices such as splints or braces to support the weakened joints
Your physical therapist will teach you exercises to keep joints flexible and improve muscle strength.
Surgery is usually considered if non-surgical treatment fails to provide relief. Knee replacement surgery is considered an option when the pain is so severe that it affects your ability to carry out normal activities.
Mr Taneja focusses solely on the knee joint in his practice , and performs both total and partial knee replacements.