Knee Arthritis

Treatment for Knee Arthritis

The Capital Orthopaedics team, led by consultant surgeon Simon Moyes, offers state of the art diagnostics and highly effective treatment options for knee arthritis.

Our physiotherapists are experienced in providing all aspects of physical therapy, pioneering injection therapy and rehabilitation, while our consultant orthopaedic surgeons offer the latest techniques in minimally invasive surgery.

Our aim is to get you back to strength, mobility and fitness quickly, with the best chance of long-term resilience.

An early diagnosis of any knee condition or injury can prevent degenerative conditions and give you a better chance of full recovery. If you have any knee pain or symptoms of knee arthritis, contact Simon Moyes and the Capital Orthopaedics team here.

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What is knee arthritis?

There are two main types of knee arthritis, both of which have similar symptoms.

Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of bones in your joints. It can be the result of age-related wear and tear, repetitive impact or a traumatic injury.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that causes your body to attack healthy tissues in your joints, which can result in erosion of the bones.

Your knee joint is made up of four bones – the thigh bone (femur), lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) and the kneecap (patella). They are all coated in a layer of slippery cartilage which reduces friction and enables smooth movement.

If the cartilage is damaged or worn away, the rough bone surfaces are exposed, increasing friction in the joint as they rub against each other. As your body tries to heal, it can produce extra bone tissue, leading to bony outgrowths called bone spurs.

Friction in your knee joint impacts on other structures and soft tissues – causing inflammation, pain and stiffness.

What are the Symptoms of Arthritis in the Knee?

Typically, arthritis causes:

  • Pain anywhere in the knee joint, during or after use
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness

What Causes Knee Arthritis?

Osteoarthritis in the knee can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Forceful impact – a direct blow to the knee can cause the cartilage to tear, exposing the bone below.
  • Twisting injury – a knee sprain can lead to cartilage and bone damage, which in turn can cause arthritis.
  • Wear and tear – osteoarthritis is often age-related, as the bones and cartilage in your joints degenerate over time.
  • Repetitive injury – sports and activities that involve movements such as deep knee bends can lead to knee arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an immune disease, which has no known cause.

Risk factors for knee arthritis include:

  • Family history
  • Being overweight
  • Age

How Can Arthritis of the Knee be Treated?

Anti-inflammatories. You can treat the symptoms of arthritis with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, which provides pain relief and reduces swelling.

Supplements. Glucosamine and chondroitin are said to improve cartilage structure, however, there is currently no scientific evidence to prove its efficacy in relieving arthritis.

Weight loss. Losing weight can help to reduce the pressure on your joints, and improve mobility.

Surgery for knee arthritis

More advanced knee arthritis may require surgery. Our orthopaedic surgeons specialise in minimally invasive or keyhole surgery, with faster and better recovery rates.

Surgical options include:

  • Debridement – smoothing and trimming damaged cartilage and bone surfaces
  • Osteotomy – reshaping the bones to restore balance to degenerated bone surfaces
  • Synovectomy – removing the joint lining that has been damaged by rheumatoid arthritis
  • Joint replacement – replacing all or part of the knee joint with prosthetic parts

How Capital Orthopaedics can treat knee arthritis

If you have knee pain and stiffness, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis at the earliest opportunity.

In the early stages, arthritis can be treated very effectively with physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles around your knee and improve flexibility. We also offer injection therapies to reduce swelling and promote healing in your knee, particularly after an injury.

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Other Knee Conditions We Treat

Cartilage Damage – a tear in the articular cartilage that coats the bones of your knee joint can cause pain, catching, stiffness and instability. Our treatments range from physiotherapy and steroid injections to surgery to remove the damaged tissues.

Meniscus Tear – the rubbery c-shaped cartilage pads in your knee can get torn as a result of an impact or forceful twisting. Symptoms include pain, swelling, instability and weakness. A minor tear can be managed with physiotherapy, or we offer arthroscopic surgery to repair or remove the damaged meniscus.

Tendonitis – the tendons that attach your muscles to the bones of your knee can become inflamed due to micro-tears caused by overuse or sudden stress. Ongoing tendon problems can be treated with steroid injections and physiotherapy to stretch the muscles and improve mobility. Surgery is offered if there are complications or a complete tendon rupture.

Knee Fractures – any of the bones in the knee can be broken, but a broken kneecap is most common. These fractures are usually treated with a rigid brace while the bones heal. Displaced bones or compound fractures can be repaired using surgery.

Anterior Knee Pain – any pain or difficulty in moving in the front of your knee should be diagnosed as soon as possible, particularly after an injury. Ongoing knee pain can be caused by many conditions and left untreated, may lead to arthritis and other complications.

ACL Tear – a common knee injury is the partial or complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in the centre of the knee. It usually the result of forceful wrenching action. Some ACL tears can be managed with physiotherapy, but for many active or professional sportspeople, or those with a complete rupture, surgery will be necessary to repair the ACL.

 

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The Capital Orthopaedics team is made up of highly experienced medical professionals – from Mr Simon Moyes, the renowned orthopaedic consultant surgeon, to physicians, nurses, anaesthetists and physiotherapists.
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