Energy Many patients indeed find that the chronic pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee does contribute to fatigue. Osteoarthritis of the knee does not affect metabolism but some patients attribute weight gain to the inactivity that results from the knee pain caused by osteoarthritis of the knee. It is important that patients with osteoarthritis of the knee avoid decreasing their activity level and it is important that they remain fit.
However this often does require some modification of exercise programs — running and walking programs are usually poorly tolerated by and not recommended for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Stationary bike swimming and water aerobics usually are well-tolerated and they are recommended.
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Diet Diets do not cure or treat osteoarthritis so far as we know. However it is important to try to avoid weight gain when one has osteoarthritis of the knee as increased body weight is associated with worsening of symptoms. Relationships Osteoarthritis of the knee can affect relationships and social interactions to the extent that it makes getting around more difficult. These joint deformities are not readily managed by interventions other than surgery but can be corrected at the time of knee replacement for patients who elect to have that surgery.
Incidence It is not possible to predict who will get osteoarthritis of the knee. However there are some risk factors that may increase the likelihood that knees will become arthritic. These risk factors include:. There are some risk factors that may increase the likelihood that knees will become arthritic. These are:. It is now known that this too results in the development of knee arthritis. As a result of learning this fact surgeons now either try to repair or minimize the portion of the meniscus that is removed should it become torn.
Prevention By maintaining an ideal body weight and avoiding severe trauma to the knee it is possible to minimize the risk of arthritis. Anatomy Osteoarthritis of the knee occurs when the joint surface cartilage also called hyaline cartilage or articular cartilage becomes worn away leaving the raw bone beneath exposed. When the bearing wears away the result is a roughed joint surface that causes the pain and stiffness that people associate with osteoarthritis.
Initial symptoms Pain swelling and stiffness are the main symptoms of knee arthritis. When it becomes more advanced joint deformity knock-knees or bow-legs can occur. Symptoms Pain stiffness swelling and joint deformity are the symptoms of arthritis of the knee. Progression Early in the course of arthritis the symptoms can be intermittent perhaps related only to particular activities or sustained activity. At that point usually rest and avoiding the precipitating activity will improve the symptoms.
As the arthritis worsens the symptoms can become more persistent or more severe such that simply walking on level ground can result in pain. When arthritis is severe the pain with activities can linger even after the activity stops such that the knee can remain painful even after one stops walking.
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Conditions with similar symptoms Other forms of arthritis can cause similar symptoms to osteoarthritis of the knee; in particular post-traumatic arthritis and post-meniscectomy arthritis are almost indistinguishable in many cases from osteoarthritis of the knee. Rheumatoid arthritis the next most common cause of arthritis can also affect the knee. It tends to cause other joints to be involved and often causes more of an inflammatory set of symptoms swelling and warmth as well as pain and can in fact effect other organ systems as well.
The diagnosis of osteoarthritis versus rheumatoid arthritis can be made by a physician with experience in treating conditions of this type. Causes No one knows what causes osteoarthritis of the knee. Effects Pain swelling and stiffness are the main symptoms of knee arthritis. As the condition worsens it often becomes less responsive to medical treatments such as pills or injections. In many patients with advanced arthritis particularly if those medical approaches are no longer helpful surgery can offer relief of symptoms.
Some patients with severe osteoarthritis sometimes can benefit from joint replacement surgery either partial unicompartmental knee replacement or total knee replacement which now can be done using a minimally-invasive quadriceps-sparing approach that can significantly shorten the recovery and decrease the pain following surgery. Diagnosis To diagnose osteoarthritis of the knee a physician will take a thorough history and perform a thorough physical examination first. Following this simple x-rays taken with the patient standing are an effective way to diagnose this condition.
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However, osteopathic physicians are also qualified as medical doctors MDs , and they have more training than other complementary therapists, such as naturopaths. They specialize in osteopathy. Osteopathy is one of the fastest growing healthcare professions in the United States U. It uses manual 'hands-on' techniques to improve circulation and correct altered biomechanics, without the use of drugs. An osteopathic physician does not concentrate only on the problem area, but uses manual techniques to balance all the body systems, and to provide overall good health and wellbeing.
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Techniques include stretching, gentle pressure, and resistance, known as osteopathic manipulative medicine. An osteopathic physician may also issue prescription medicine and use surgical methods to support the holistic, manual treatment. Many osteopathic physicians also serve as primary care physicians in fields such as family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics. These include :. Osteopathic physicians can also detect conditions that are not treatable through osteopathy, to refer patients to other specialists.
People visiting an osteopath should ensure that their doctor is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association AOA and licensed to practice. Ask to see this documentation if it is not already on display in their practice. Self-referring patients should inform their regular doctor, to ensure that ongoing care is consistent. Osteopathy is patient-centered. An initial consultation will take place before any active treatment or management begins.
During this consultation, the osteopathic physician will discuss the patient's health problems, listen, and take case notes. The session will last approximately 45 minutes. The osteopathic physician will physically examine the patient, who may need to remove some clothing to carry out the diagnosis. Patient privacy should be respected during this process. The patient will be asked to demonstrate simple stretches and movements to help the osteopathic physician make an accurate analysis of their posture and mobility.
The doctor will also assess the health of the joints, ligaments, and tissues, using a highly trained technique of touch known as palpation. This will include the number of sessions likely to be needed, although this number may change depending on the patient's response to treatment. Osteopathy emphasizes self-healing, so an osteopathic physician may also advise dietary changes, home exercise programs, and lifestyle adjustments.
The manipulation and hands-on work are gentle, but due to the physical work being carried out, a patient of osteopathy may feel sore for the first 24 to 48 hours.
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The cost will vary, depending on the clinic, the insurance plan the patient has, and the state in which they live. Many insurance plans will fund osteopathy for appropriate conditions. It is worth asking the insurer if there is a limit per session or an overall limit for outpatient complementary therapies. A chiropractor can also treat the back, but their focus is more likely to be on the position of the spine and joints, with the aim of improving nerve function and healing ability.
A chiropractor is more likely to "pop" or "crack" the joints.