Knee Osteoarthritis

What Is Knee Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a condition in the knee whereby there is wear or degeneration of the knee cartilage due to repetitive stress to the cartilage.

What Are the Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis?

Patients with osteoarthritis suffer from painful and stiff knees that can disturb their quality of life.

Who Are At Risk?

Knee osteoarthritis tends to be more common in women than men.

Risk factors of developing knee osteoarthritis include:

  • Obesity
  • Excessive stress to the knees
  • Old age, after the age of 55-60 years
  • People with knee ligament injuries that are not properly treated

Can Knee Osteoarthritis Be Avoided?

Cartilage breakdown and wear is inevitable as we age. However, we can take certain steps to reduce knee pain and to prevent stiffness arising from osteoarthritis.

  1. Control of body weight

Being obese or overweight worsens the cartilage wear due to the extra stress on the cartilage. Reducing weight will slow down the progression of osteoarthritis.

  1. Regular exercise

Exercising our joints, especially our knees, helps to strengthen the muscles around the joints. Strong muscles that result from regular exercise protect our knees and absorb part of the stress exerted to the knee. Exercising also helps prevent stiffness to the joints. Exercises beneficial for the knees include cycling, swimming etc.

  1. Prevent knee injuries

Knee injuries put the cartilage at a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis. Hence, adequate warm-up before exercising and wearing protective gear such as a knee guard helps to prevent knee injury. If you have developed any sports injuries to the knees, get them treated early by an orthopaedic surgeon.

We should take these preventive measures while our knees are still healthy. However, even if we develop mild or early knee osteoarthritis, we can still practise these measures to maintain good knee function and to prevent the osteoarthritis from worsening.

What Is The Treatment For Knee Osteoarthritis?

Mild or early osteoarthritis

  • Painkillers
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Physiotherapy and modification of activity

Mild cases of knee pain can be treated by taking glucosamine either alone or in combination with chondroitin. For more severe cases, doctors can recommend injections of hyaluronic acid into the knee. Hyaluronic acid injections help mild to moderate osteoarthritis by providing lubrication as well as pain-relief to the stiff knee. These injections generally provide symptom relief for about 6 months to 1 year.

Severe osteoarthritis

If all the above treatments fail to work or if the disease is too severe, the only option is surgery. Total knee replacement surgery is the best option for these patients.

For patients who are 55 years and above with severe osteoarthritis, total knee replacement surgery offers the best solution to relieve pain and to improve the patient’s function and quality of life.

Knee replacement surgery offers very high success with minimal risks. The knee replacement can last 15 to 20 years and beyond if the operation is done accurately. Perfect accuracy in total knee replacement surgeries can now be consistently achieved by using computer-assisted surgery (CAS). CAS is the latest technology in knee replacement surgery that yields more accurate results compared to conventional knee replacement surgery.

Our Specialists

For more information relating to Knee Osteoarthritis, please contact our Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons below:

Col. (R) Dr. Vejayan Rajoo

Col. (R) Dr. Vejayan Rajoo

Orthopaedics
(with special interest in Sport Medicine)

Dr. Chan Kok Yu

Dr. Chan Kok Yu

Orthopaedics
(with special interest in Arthroplasty & Sports Surgery)

Mr. Mohana Rao

Mr. Mohana Rao

Orthopaedics
(Special Interest in Foot & Ankle Surgery)

Dr. Vasanthie Balakrishnan

Dr. Vasanthie Balakrishnan

Orthopaedics
(Special interest in Paediatric Orthopaedics)