Knee arthritis causes many unwanted side effects. Besides pain, people who suffer from wear and tear arthritis in their knee joints face immobility, loss of independence, and more. Learn more about the risks of untreated knee arthritis and what treatments your orthopedic doctor in Catonsville, MD, offers.
What Causes Knee Arthritis?
Knee arthritis, also called osteoarthritis (OA), results from injury or from gradual wear over time. As such, people who are on their feet for prolonged periods of time or are obese place undue stress on the protective cartilage at leg bone ends and beneath the knee cap, or patella. Aging contributes to joint deterioration, as well, and the chief lubricant in the knee–the synovial fluid–tends to decrease in amount and effectiveness as you get older.
What Are The Risks of Neglecting Knee Arthritis?
Osteoarthritis of the knee is progressive–that is, it only worsens as time goes by, and without intervention from your knee pain expert in the Baltimore, MD, area, many difficult side effects may develop. These may include:
- Increased pain, swelling, and stiffness
- More difficulty straightening or flexing the affected knee joint
- Joint deformity, poor mobility, and reduced range of motion
- Bone spurs
- Loss of independent function (activities of daily living, such as house cleaning, shopping, and doing errands)
- Anxiety and depression
- Social isolation
- Decreased ability to get a good night’s sleep
- Weight gain due to limited ability to move and exercise
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that almost 32.5 million Americans who are of adult age have some degree of osteoarthritis. Typical joints impacted by the degenerative processes of OA are the knee, shoulder, hip, ankle, foot, and spine.
Accordingly, treatment to preserve function, limb strength, and overall physical endurance are very important to optimal patient outcomes. Proper medical management can also reduce pain, swelling, and changes in the physical configuration of the joint.
How Your Orthopedic Surgeon in Eldersburg, MD, Can Help Your Knee Arthritis
When you consult with one of our board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic doctors, you’ll undergo a comprehensive joint exam, including discussion of symptoms, a hands-on assessment of your knee, and state-of-the-art imaging. Then, your doctor can recommend ways to manage your arthritis, reduce your pain and inflammation, and get you moving well again.
Some treatment options include:
- Total or partial knee replacement surgery (not necessarily the first choice)
- Injections, including platelet-rich plasma therapy
- Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen
- Ice and heat therapy
- Bracing and assistive devices
- Physical therapy, including strengthening and stretching exercises
Also, your doctor may ask you to lose some weight and engage in a regular program of physical activity, such as biking, walking, or swimming.
Manage Knee Arthritis With Help From Orthopedic Associates of Central Maryland
At our six locations, our physicians and their professional team help many Maryland patients work through knee arthritis pain and stiffness, and avoid undue complications.
Call us today for a consultation at the location nearest you: (410) 644-1880, or (855) 4MD-BONE. We’re here to help, and we look forward to seeing you soon!