Treatment Options For A Degenerative Knee Joint
A degenerative knee joint is a debilitating condition wherein the knee joint becomes inflamed and begins to deteriorate. Although it is more commonly associated with people over 50 years, Osteoarthritis does not discriminate and can affect anyone, irrespective of age or sex.
Some of the strong indicators of the development of a degenerative knee joint include:
” Being overweight
” Repetitive overuse either through repeated strain or excessive exercising
” Previous injury to the knee
” Trauma to the knee brought on by a disease that affected the mechanics of the joints
” Accumulation of crystal deposits such as uric acid crystals in gout
While a degenerative knee joint can be excruciatingly painful and can severely restrict mobility as it advances, it not life threatening. There are several ways that you can treat and manage the condition without having to resort to full knee replacement surgery.
A.) Why Not Knee Surgery?
One of the reasons why most people tend to avoid knee surgery unless absolutely unnecessary, is because it is an invasive procedure. It can also take an indeterminate amount of time to rehabilitate the new knee joint after the surgery. Surgery can involve resurfacing the entire degenerative knee joint. It can be risky and is not always 100 percent effective. In some cases, the knee surgery will not be much of an improvement over the old knee.
Knee surgery is also expensive. Not all insurance companies will cover knee replacement surgery and for those who are not insured, it is basically out of the question financially.
B.) What are Other Options?
Conservative treatment methods are always recommended as the first line of defense for osteoarthritis. This includes a combination of anti-inflammatory drugs, knee braces and ice packs to quell swelling and alleviate the pain.
Many people who suffer from a degenerative knee joint will just use a knee brace to help allow them to remain active without pain. Affordable and easily available, knee braces help offer respite from the pain without the risk of any adverse side effects. Very often, especially for older individuals who may have underlying medical conditions, a knee brace is the only option for treating their osteoarthritis.
C.) Should you Rest or Not?
If you have a degenerative knee joint, your first inclination may be to rest the joint so that it does not hurt as much. However, this can cause even more stiffness in the joint. It is best to remain as active as possible (under your physician’s supervision) and although you may want to refrain from high impact activities, there are certain exercises you should do that will help maintain flexibility in your knee. Wearing a knee brace will help reduce the pain and prevent inadvertent movement of the knee while exercise.
However, if your condition is not related to osteoarthritis of the knee, you will want to rest an inflammation. This is why it is so important to get the correct diagnosis. While some conditions require rest, others, such as osteoarthritis of the knee, should be exercised in a way to keep the joint from deteriorating further.