Arthritis affects millions of people worldwide, causing pain and reduced joint mobility. An orthopedic knee surgeon can use various treatments to manage its symptoms. A common question is whether arthritis can be “cleaned out” of a knee joint. Explore the different options available for managing knee arthritis.
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure involving a tiny camera called an arthroscope and specialized surgical instruments to examine and treat the inside of a joint, such as the knee. The arthroscope is inserted through small incisions around the knee, allowing the surgeon to view the interior on a monitor and address various joint problems.
Loose or damaged cartilage pieces can cause joint pain and inflammation. An orthopedic knee surgeon can use arthroscopy to remove this debris from the knee. The procedure also assists people who have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), where the synovium is inflamed. Arthroscopy can help the surgeon remove the inflamed tissue to alleviate pain.
Benefits of Arthroscopy for Knee Arthritis
- Minimally Invasive: Arthroscopy involves smaller incisions than traditional open surgery, resulting in less scarring, reduced pain, and quicker recovery.
- Targeted Treatment: This procedure allows surgeons to address specific joint issues related to arthritis, providing more precise treatment.
- Improved Diagnosis: Arthroscopy helps orthopedic knee surgeons know the exact condition of the joint. This allows them to diagnose arthritis-related problems accurately.
- Pain Relief: A surgeon can look into factors that contribute to knee pain using the procedure, which helps to relieve pain and improve joint function.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the first defense against pain and inflammation due to knee arthritis. Some examples of these drugs include ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. NSAIDS provide many benefits such as:
- Help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Quick onset of relief.
People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may get antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) that modify this chronic disease. These drugs target the underlying autoimmune response that causes RA. Methotrexate is a commonly prescribed DMARD for RA patients. There are many benefits, including:
- Slows the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Reduces inflammation and pain.
- Preserves joint function.
Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that can provide quick relief from symptoms of knee arthritis. Medical practitioners often administer these drugs via injection. Some of the other benefits include:
- Rapid pain and inflammation reduction.
- Targeted treatment for the knee joint.
Hyaluronic Acid Injections
Administering hyaluronic acid injections, also known as viscosupplementation, helps to alleviate osteoarthritis. A gel is injected into the affected knee joint to provide cushioning and lubrication. These acid injections have benefits like:
- Improved joint lubrication.
- Reduced pain and stiffness.
- Potential delay in the need for surgery.
One of the most impactful lifestyle modifications for knee arthritis is maintaining a healthy weight. Excess body weight stresses the knee joints. Losing weight in a healthy way can reduce the load on the knees. Other benefits in managing weight can include:
- Reduced joint stress and pain.
- Slower progression of arthritis.
- Improved joint function and mobility.
Exercise and Physical Activity
Low-impact exercises like swimming, cycling, and walking can help maintain joint flexibility. It also strengthens surrounding muscles and helps the body release endorphins, which leads to an improved mood.
Using assistive devices can alleviate strain on the knees and enhance mobility. Devices such as canes, braces, and orthopedic shoe inserts provide support and stability, making it easier to perform daily activities without discomfort.
Choosing the proper footwear helps individuals with knee arthritis. Shoes with cushioning and adequate arch support can help distribute weight more evenly and reduce stress on the knee joints. Orthopedic shoes or custom orthotics can benefit those with specific needs.
Joint health supplement
For addressing arthritis or joint pain concerns, incorporating a joint health supplement like Active Stem into your routine can be advantageous. Active Stem is specifically designed to promote not only strong joints and muscles but also offers the benefits of reducing inflammation, supporting joint flexibility, and potentially enhancing overall joint health.
Joint Protection Techniques
Learning joint protection techniques can help individuals with knee arthritis minimize strain during daily activities. Practices such as using assistive devices, maintaining proper posture, and avoiding activities exacerbating pain can preserve joint health.
Consult a Qualified Orthopedic Knee Surgeon
Arthritis is a chronic condition that involves the degradation of cartilage in joints. An orthopedic surgeon can partially “clean out” knee arthritis through arthroscopy or knee replacement.
To help you manage this disease, work closely with a qualified orthopedic knee surgeon who will help clean out some of your knee arthritis. They will also help you develop a treatment plan that may include medications and physical therapy.