Knee Osteoarthritis

Friday, September 30, 2011

Knee osteoarthritis is the most common type of osteoarthritis. More than 10 million Americans have knee osteoarthritis. It is also the most common cause of disability in the United States. Dr. Edward Hill discusses osteoarthritis of the knee in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Osteoarthritis is a disease that happens when the protective cartilage in the joints wears down, and the bones rub against each other. The knee is a common place to get osteoarthritis.

It is more common in people older than 50 years and in people who are overweight. Osteoarthritis runs in families. People who have had other knee problems are more likely to have knee osteoarthritis later in life.

The most common symptoms are pain with activity, limited range of motion, stiffness, tenderness, swelling around the knee, feeling like the joint may give out and deformity.

Pain medicine, exercise, and weight loss are usually the first steps in treatment. Your doctor may want you to work with a physical therapist to strengthen the muscles around your knee. You can also take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for the pain. Joint supplements containing glucosamine also may help.

Cortisone shots may help reduce the swelling in the joint, or a shot may be given to help lubricate the joint. Knee replacement surgery is a last resort.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.