AN OVERVIEW OF THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR OSTEOARTHRITIS OF THE KNEE

In order to better understand the treatment options for osteoarthritis of the knee, it is important to understand basic knee anatomy and the function of articular cartilage. Please review the sections on knee anatomy as well as the introduction to osteoarthritis of the knee before reading this section.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic disorder that gradually progresses over time. In the knee, the symptoms of osteoarthritis may include pain, stiffness, swelling, "locking," and "catching". These symptoms may progress to an eventual limitation of activities whether it is an inability to run or an inability to walk up and down stairs. There is no cure for osteoarthritis of the knee. The therapies currently available are used only to treat the symptoms.

The 3 main goals of treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee are:

1. To decrease pain
2. To maintain or improve range of motion of the knee (ability to bend and straighten the knee)
3. To maintain or improve function (ability to climb stairs, run, jump, play sports, etc.)

There are many treatment options available and often, many different types of therapy must be used together to improve symptoms. The severity of an individual's symptoms, their level of activity, and their expectations for function determine which treatment is best.

The treatment options available to individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee can be divided into the following categories;

Education and Biomechanical Treatment Options

Educational Resources
Lifestyle Modifications
Physical Therapy
Supportive Devices (Canes, Braces, Orthotics)

Medications and Nutritional Supplements

Nutritional Supplements and Nutritional Supplement Fact Sheet
Oral Medications (Pills)
Topical Medications (Ointments and Creams)
Knee Injections

Surgical Treatment Options

Introduction to Surgical Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery and Abrasion Arthroplasty
Osteotomy
Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Partial Knee Replacement Surgery
Articular Cartilage Transplantation and Cellular Implant Surgery

For more information on available treatment please read our "links" section.

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