Millions of Americans have osteoarthritis, a progressive condition of joint inflammation that causes pain, stiffness, and cartilage damage. Knee osteoarthritis is a leading cause of disability and the most common cause of needing knee replacement surgery. Providers atReflex Knee Specialists have years of experience diagnosing and treating osteoarthritis. Using an evidence-based and minimally invasive approach, can help you feel better and lead a more active and fulfilling life. To make an appointment, call the office in Portland, Oregon; Bellevue, Washington; or Tempe, Arizona, or book online today.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease resulting in chronic inflammation that causes your cartilage to break down and wear away. Cartilage is a soft, substance that cushions your joints and protects the underlying (subchondral) bone from injury.
Over the course of osteoarthritis, cartilage loses its integrity and begins to break down. Over time, it becomes thinner and thinner until your bones rub against each other (“bone on bone arthritis”). Over the course of many years, this progressive disease causes joint swelling, stiffness, and inflammation.
There’s no cure for osteoarthritis, but lowering the levels of inflammation inside the joint and optimizing knee biomechanics can put the brakes on the process and prolong the life of the joint. Treatments with PRP, hyaluronic acid, and ozone, combined with off-loading brace technology and specialized knee physical therapy can significantly reduce symptoms and help people stay active. In addition, patients who make healthy lifestyle changes in combination with these treatments can provide long-lasting relief.
The symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
As the condition worsens, you might also experience difficulty bending or extending your joints. Some people also experience popping or grinding sensations when walking, exercising, or working.
Factors that may increase your risk of osteoarthritis include:
You’re also more likely to develop osteoarthritis if you play sports or work a job that requires you to perform repetitive motions.
To diagnose osteoarthritis, your Reflex Knee Specialists provider reviews your medical records, asks about your symptoms, and performs a physical exam.
During the exam, they look at your knee for redness, swelling, or bruising. They also test the knee’s range of motion and flexibility and ask you to walk around the exam room.
If your provider suspects an underlying injury, like a torn meniscus or a muscle strain, they might also order a diagnostic ultrasound. An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to capture images of your knee joint and the surrounding tissues.
Treatment of osteoarthritis depends on various factors, including age, the severity of your symptoms, and their effect on your daily routine. Your Reflex Knee Specialists provider might recommend:
If your symptoms persist, worsen, or fail to improve with non-surgical treatments, surgery might be necessary, but only as a last resort.
To learn more about the treatment options for osteoarthritis, make an appointment at Reflex Knee Specialists by calling the nearest office or booking online today.