Arthritis is a disease characterized by abnormal inflammations affecting the human body’s articulations or joints. The fingers, elbows, hips, and knees are the primary targets of arthritis. Arthritis comes in varied forms. Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, is caused predominantly by old age, but may also develop in response to certain lesions, infections, or malformations, of the knee. Other less common but equally debilitating forms of arthritis are as follows: gouty arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Treatment Options for Arthritis In the Knee
Several modes of treatment are available for managing arthritis and its symptoms. These may range from physical therapy, pharmacological remedies (medications), to arthritis-specific surgical procedures.
The latter, more commonly known collectively as arthritis knee surgery, has a variety of more specialized types – for example, knee osteotomy, arthroscopy, and knee replacement surgery. The specific form of arthritis knee surgery will depend on a number of factors, such as the extent and severity of the disease.
What is Knee Arthritis Surgery?
Depending on the state of arthritis, the most recommended option for treatment is frequently arthritis knee surgery.
Arthritis usually develops in stages, gradually destroying the cartilaginous tissue present in the tissue joints. In its early stages, anti-inflammatory treatment and physical therapy are the primary modes of treatment. However, as the disease progresses, arthritis knee surgery becomes an urgent and crucial necessity.
Arthroscopy: A Less Invasive Option
Arthroscopy is a less invasive surgical option in arthritis treatment. This procedure involves the repair of ligament and cartilage tissue injuries in the knee and the other joints. During an arthroscopy, a tiny instrument resembling an endoscope will be inserted in the affected articulation via a little incision.
Although the effectiveness of this procedure remains an issue of debate, many proponents attest to the benefits of arthroscopy when applied in appropriate scenarios.
Telltale signs that a patient requires knee arthroscopy are as follows: painful popping of the knee, knee joint instability or wobbling knees, a prickling sensation when using the knee joint, and inflammation or swelling of the affected body part(s).
Knee Osteotomy: Better Option for Younger Patients
In cases of younger patients, these arthritics only often have damage in only one part of the knee joint. Consequently, they are not advised to undergo complete knee replacement surgery.
Sometimes, arthritis also manifests through knock-legged or bow-legged cases, which are characterized by a joint reorientation, such that the joint’s weight center is transferred from its damaged area to its healthy area. In such cases, knee osteotomy is often the best course of action.
Partial Knee Replacement Surgery: The Hybrid
Considered a “hybrid” of both osteotomy and complete knee replacement surgery, partial knee replacement surgery is significantly less invasive than the latter. This procedure is done by replacing the damaged portion of the affected articulation with a prosthetic one, while the healthy parts are left intact to heal. Partial knee replacement surgery is recommended for severe arthritis confined to certain parts of articulation. Compared to complete knee replacement surgery, this procedure requires smaller incisions and allows for a more rapid recovery time.
Complete Knee Replacement Surgery: A Practical Option
For several arthritis cases, the most practical option is complete knee replacement surgery. This procedure entails the complete removal and replacement of the damaged joint tissue with plastic or metal prosthetic implants.
Associated Risks: Arthritis Knee Surgery
As in most forms of major surgery, arthritis knee surgery patients are susceptible to thrombosis, infections, nerve damage, and certain anesthesia risks.
In addition, arthritis knee surgery involves a number of post-surgery risks, including instability of the affected joint, kneecap fracture or dislocation , and even decreased mobility or reduced range of motion.
Arthritis Knee Surgery: Pros and Cons
In spite of the risks associated to the procedure, arthritis knee surgery comes with several advantages that can benefit the inflicted patient. The primary benefits are, of course, considerable pain alleviation, enhanced mobility, as well as a substantial improvement in one’s quality of life. Most importantly, within 6 months subsequent to the surgery, the previously affected joint has the potential to regain its full functionality.
Conversely, arthritis knee surgery also comes with some perceptible disadvantages. For example, post-operative patients may experience discomfort and soreness in the period following the procedure. Additionally, the use of the prosthetic joint can be noisy and draw attention to its presence. In some cases, difficulties in movement may arise. And, depending on the type of prosthetics used, the replacement knee may have limited usability, such as only 10-15 years before a new replacement knee becomes necessary once more.
All things considered, however, if we weigh the pain and discomfort that are observed in some cases against the immense potential for successful post-surgery results, it is easy to conclude that the pros of arthritis knee surgery unquestionably exceed its cons.