What is knee osteoarthritis?
Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative disease of the knee joint. It is a “wear and tear” disease where there is gradual degradation of the cartilage that covers the articulating surfaces of the bones in the knee joint. It is more common in adults over 40 years of age.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, locking, crepitus (noise), muscle weakness and decreased range of motion. As a result of decreased movement, secondary to pain, regional muscles may become weaker and ligaments lax.
How common is it?
It is very common. According to The Journal of the American Association, more than 10 million people in the U.S. have osteoarthritis of the knee. Most of these people are over the age of 40.
What causes it?
Causes include trauma (including surgery), obesity, hereditary factors, and developmental factors, mechanical factors which include incorrect joint position or gait. When bone surfaces become less protected by cartilage, the bone may be exposed and damaged.
What is the treatment?
Treatment will usually involve a variety of different options designed to manage the condition. These include lifestyle changes, anti-inflammatory drugs, custom foot orthotics, exercises, glucosamine, and knee braces and surgery.
How can the Melbourne Foot, Ankle and Walking Clinic help?
For the past several years we have had a very good success rate in reducing pain and symptoms associated with knee osteoarthritis. Following a thorough biomechanical assessment, we have been using a very specific foot orthotic, individually designed, to reposition the load on the knee joint. We are seeing a very high percentage of patients who experience a better quality of life and the majority, while anecdotal at this stage, feel between 70-90% better in a short period of time.