As young teenagers, we aspire to achieve many things in life. We want to grow up fast, finish our education, go work and be successful in life. In a bid to leapfrog others and do better than everyone, we work hard and push ourselves beyond our own limitations. This eventually takes a toll on our bodies.
Eventually, once all our aspirations are fulfilled and we want to retire and age gracefully, we realise the heavy toll our bodies have taken all through our carrier. This is the age when we want to spend time with our grandchildren, playing, running around with them, travel abroad to visit our loved ones, attend various functions, wedding etc. We would like to be as independent as possible and live with dignity
One area of our body which can cause problems and effect our mobility in the latter half of our life is ?
Have you been able to guess it right ?
Yes, its our knees!
Knee pain or arthritis can start in the middle years of your life. It begins slowly, and can get aggravated as times passes.
Early recognition of the issue and dealing with it can ensure slower progression of arthritis.
The main problem that i commonly see in my practice, as far as patients are concerned is, delay in seeking medical attention. We fear what the doctor would advise and he might say the dreadful words “you need a total knee replacement”
No doctor can force you to undergo a surgery you don’t want to. Seeking early advice from an orthopaedic surgeon will, help you understand the problem and take steps to resolve it or delay the progression of arthritis. Sometimes the problem might not be knee arthritis and the pain could be because of some other reason.Knee is one of the most complex joints in the body and the cause for knee pain can be manifold.
Here are some common facts and questions which may help everyone get over their fear and also help them understand various aspects of knee pain.
Common causes of knee pain?
The causes can be categorised broadly based on the age of the patient and whether it is secondary to trauma or not. Most patients below 45 years of age, the cause of knee pain can be non arthritic. Pathologies like, ligament tear, tears of the meniscus, tendonitis, infection, inflammatory arthritis etc are the ones to blame. Knee pain secondary to arthritis will usually manifest above the age of 50 years.
How to relieve arthritic knee pain?
Arthritic knee pain is usually worse at the end of the day. Most cases of early arthritis can be treated with mild pain medication, local analgesic gel, heat pack, calcium supplements, knee care and lifestyle modifications. The key to pain relief is to avoid movements and activities which cause the knee pain in the first place. Things to avoid are floor sitting, squatting, sitting crossed legged, jogging, using indian style bathroom, excessive stair climbing etc.
Do you need a knee surgery?
This is the most common question i get asked on a daily basis. This is a decision which is based on the amount of pain you have, the amount of distance you can walk, grade of arthritis on x-rays, degree of deformity, failure of medical treatment, presence of inflammatory arthritis. Based on all these parameters a decision is made whether you need a total knee replacement or not.
Did you tear a ligament in the knee?
Ligament injuries are more common in younger age group and are associated with trauma or accidental injury to the knee. These patients also have knee pain but along with pain, they will have other symptoms mechanical symptoms like, instability in the knee joint, locking of the knee joint in a particular position.
Some of the common types of knee injuries are:
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury (ACL)
- Hamstring Injury
- Collateral Ligament Injuries
- Articular cartilage or meniscal injuries
To summarise, arthritic knee pain should be differentiated from all other non arthritic causes. once we know its arthritic pain, we have to grade the level of arthritis and decide on the treatment options. Total knee replacement is only reserved for patients with severe knee pain, who cannot walk pain free, have progressive deformity and have moderate to severe arthritis on x-rays. What is most important is to consult an orthopaedic surgeon at the earliest, so that you have the correct diagnosis is made and the right treatment can be started before the disease progresses.
About Dr Gurava Reddy:
Dr. A.V. Gurava Reddy is widely regarded as a visionary in the field of orthopaedics and is known for embracing the human side of healthcare. His exemplary career that spans more than two decades has ensured happy and trouble-free lives for patients.
Dr. A.V. Gurava Reddy performs close to 2000 Joint Replacements (Hip, Knee and Shoulder both Primary and Revision) in a year, which is the second highest in entire South Asia. He is one of the best Orthopedic Doctor in Hyderabad, India and is supported by an experienced team of 100+doctors and paramedical staff. Dr. A.V. Gurava Reddy has extensive international experience, having worked for more than ten years in the UK. At present, he conducts surgeries in the Middle East and is a popular medical expert frequently consulted in Europe and USA.
Dr. A.V. Gurava Reddy’s inspiring and remarkable journey as a globally renowned joint replacement surgeon drives Sunshine Hospitals towards the zenith of healthcare delivery.