Early Signs of Osteoarthritis (OA) in the Knee
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common problem for many people after middle age. OA is sometimes referred to as degenerative, or wear and tear, arthritis. OA commonly affects the knee joint. In fact, knee OA is the most common cause of disability in the United States. In the past, people were led to believe that nothing could be done for their problem. Now doctors have many ways to treat knee OA so patients have less pain, better movement, and enhanced quality of life.
According to a HealthDayNews report, “Having knee pain while using the stairs may be an early sign of arthritis.” A study conducted at the University of Leeds included more than 4,600 people who were at high risk for arthritis. Researchers followed the volunteers for up to seven years.
Professor Philip Conaghan, a professor of musculoskeletal medicine at the University of Leeds in England stated in a news release, “At present, we have little concept of ‘early’ osteoarthritis and often only see people when they have significant, longstanding pain and loss of function.” He goes on to say, “This research is vital to understanding early symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.”
Using stairs was the first weight-bearing activity in which people with early knee arthritis noticed pain. They later developed pain while walking, standing, lying or sitting, and finally, while resting in bed.
“Knowing this will help us intervene earlier, perhaps leading to more effective ways of treating this very painful condition,” Conaghan explained.
According to Dr. Stickney, “Knee replacement is a very effective surgery for correcting deformity and relieving pain from arthritis. The typical conditions leading up to the need for a knee replacement are osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid disease, and posttraumatic arthritis or damage to the cartilage after a prior injury. Knee replacement involves replacing or capping the joint surfaces where the cartilage has been damaged with metal and plastic components. The amount of bone removed in a knee replacement procedure is typically less than 9-mm. Typically, three of the four major ligaments of the knee can remain in place.”
Dr. Stickney goes on to say, “You should expect improvement after a knee replacement for 6 to 12 months. The majority of improvement will occur in the first two months. Most people require therapy for 2 to 3 months after surgery and most people will not return to work for 2 to 3 months after surgery. Typically physical therapy is performed in the home for the first two weeks after surgery and then on an outpatient basis for at least 2 to 3 months after surgery. The hospital stay after knee replacement is typically two days.”
If you are suffering from OA or would like more information about knee replacement, call Dr. Stickney to learn and understand possible treatments by calling 425-823-4000 to schedule an appointment or email him at ProOrthoAppointment@proliancesurgeons.com. Watch Dr. Stickney’s video and learn more about him and the services he offers!