About Knee Osteoarthritis
Knee Osteoarthritis is one of the most common knee conditions. It is estimated that up to 4% of the world’s population is affected by it. Though it is more likely to happen to older adults, osteoarthritis can also affect young individuals.
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis occurs when the lubricating joint fluid that protects and cushions the bones is gradually reduced, losing its shock-absorbing properties. The bones begin to rub resulting in increased friction and surrounding bone oedema, causing joint pain, stiffness, and inability to move.
Knee osteoarthritis begins with knee pain and stiffness, but may also develop into joint deformities, impaired mobility or disability.
Some possible risk factors of Osteoarthritis are as follows:
- Prior Injury
- Bone Deformity
- Genetic and family history
Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis
Knee Pain and Swelling
Swelling and Tenderness
Instability or Locking
When Should I Seek Medical Attention?
You should seek medical help when:
- Pain on the front, back or sides of the knee
- Knee deformation
- Difficulty walking and feeling as though the knee is giving out
- Difficulty wearing trousers and getting out of the car
- Unbalanced and restricted knee movements
- Swelling in the affected area
- Pain only with activities but not with rest
A Message About Knee Pain
Knee arthritis is specifically directed to active inflammation of the knee. There are many other causes of knee inflammation like gout, rheumatoid, meniscal injuries and fractures. Very often, osteoarthritis has been implied to mean a degenerative knee condition. This is incorrect. One can get degeneration of the knee through wear and tear of the knee joint resulting in degenerative changes such as loss of cartilage and meniscal degeneration without active inflammation.
Intra-articular knee injections are a useful adjunct treatment of osteoarthritis. It will prolong the longevity of the integrity of the knee, stopping inflammation, and slowing down degeneration. There are various different injectate ranging from hyaluronic acid to platelet-rich plasma to steroids.
After treatment of the knee inflammation, the degenerative features may not have changed but the knee inflammatory pain would have been aborted and not present itself further. The knee can undergo further wear and tear, causing active bone swelling or joint inflammation, resulting in an on-off pain flare.
The knee can undergo degeneration painlessly. There is a need for intensive rehabilitation to train the surrounding muscles to provide active support for the “failing” knee. Once there is adequate strength in the thigh and calf to offload the loading pressures of the knee, it will slow down the degeneration and reduce the pain flares attacks.
Diagnosing Knee Osteoarthritis
Here at Singapore Paincare, our team of experienced primary care and specialist pain care doctors will conduct a thorough diagnosis. This includes a physical exam, questions about your symptoms and an evaluation of your medical history. An X-ray or MRI scan may be needed to evaluate or confirm the degree of arthritis. Blood tests and other laboratory tests may also help to determine the type of arthritis.
What Treatments Are Available for Osteoarthritis
With the increasing number of patients with knee osteoarthritis, treatment methods have become extensive and comprehensive. At Singapore Paincare, we strive to treat your pain with the least invasive option possible after accurately identifying the cause. Our approach to pain resolution focuses on the removal of pain generators via specialised injection and minimally invasive procedures. Combined with pharmacological treatments and cognitive and physical rehabilitative therapies, we help patients improve functions and prevent pain from recurring.
Non-Surgical Treatment for Osteoarthritis
Pain killers such as Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to help relieve pain. This type of medication is most effective and targets the inflammatory pathway, stopping pain. It does not only act as a painkiller but it acts directly on the bone oedema. Occasionally, stronger painkillers (opioids) such as Tramadol or Oxycontin may be added to ease the pain.
Our proprietary Myospan Gel injection incorporates identification of different pain generators apart from the local inflammation of the knee, together with intra-articular injection of the hyaluronic acid, to provide excellent long-lasting pain relief. We prognosticate the time interval needed for the next “top-up” of gel injection.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
Surgical Treatments for Osteoarthritis
Surgery is an option for intractable painful OA. This is only done after careful consideration to see if you are suitable for the procedure. Regardless, surgeries always come with associated risks, complications and downtime – it may not be suitable for everyone.
Knee replacement surgery
How Can I Prevent Knee Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis cannot be fully prevented. However, you can help lessen daily stress on your joints by doing the following:
- Keeping a healthy body weight
- Monitoring and controlling your blood sugar
- Staying active
- Addressing pain immediately
Get Your Pain Resolved
Send your enquiries or consult our pain experts today.