I am Dr. Sanjay Kapoor, the consultant orthopedic surgeon in KK Health Care Centre, Sec-5, Gurgaon. Today I will tell you about osteoarthritis of the knee. This is the normal knee joint. It has femoral bone, leg bone which is called as tibia bone and at the internal part one is medial and another one is known as lateral meniscus. So, what happens in arthritis is degeneration of this meniscus or washers. So, as the patient walking on his knee due to the degeneration, the bone starts to rub against each other. And the patient starts to have pain and difficulty in walking. So, the patient usually comes to my OPD, they complain of pain, restriction of movements of the knee, difficulty in climbing stairs and getting up from chairs.
Now we have to grade what type of arthritis patient is having. We divide arthritis into 3 stages. Mild, moderate and severe. In mild arthritis, there is minimal degeneration of the knee joint which can be easily tackled with medications, exercises, physiotherapy and restriction of your activities like sitting cross legs or climbing stairs and we usually advise the patient to not to sit on the floor. Then comes moderate arthritis where there are more degeneration and the space between the femoral and the leg bone they start to decrease and the patient starts to have more pain, more difficulty in climbing stairs and walking. Now again we have to see the condition of meniscus inside and the condition of the cartilage which is covering the bone.
Now, this assessment can be done by doing x-rays. Sometimes, even MRI also adviced. This can also be tackled with medications. Some kind of injections is also available which we put inside the knee joint which helps in extending of the cartilage, meniscus, and washers. Plus, regular exercises, weight control, the regular walk is advice for the patient. Now next comes severe arthritis in which cartilage and meniscus is totally worn out. The cartilage is totally gone and bone starts to rub against each other. So, the patient also develops some kind of deformities of the knee and he has severe difficulty in walking, in climbing stairs and doing day to day activities. In this kind of joint, we again do x-rays, MRIs and also we can do an arthroscopy in which we evaluate the joint.
Now, depending upon the age of the patient. If the patient is young, then we have surgeries available like one is know as high tibial osteotomy in which axis of the knee joint is changed so that the load which is coming on the joint is decreased and the patient can carry with the same joint for few more years. Then only one compartment, the medial compartment is involved in this arthritis unicompartmental arthroplasty option is also available for the patient. In this only one compartment is changed and the rest of the joint is not touched. The patient is very happy with that kind of joint. But if all the compartment of the knee is involved and severely degenerated than we give the option of total knee replacement. It is also having an excellent result for the patient.
As a message to the general public is if they control their weight, regular exercises and they avoid sitting cross legs, minimal climbing of stairs and take proper care of the knee joint and as soon they start to have the complaint of knee joint, they should contact to the doctor as early as possible. So, that the problem can be tackled right away with medications and exercises. Because if they will try to postpone then usually patient comes at the stage when there is very little to do with the help of medicines and exercises. Then we have to take surgical interventions. For any orthopaedic problems or any joint-related problems you can visit at our hospital, KK Health Care Centre, Sec-5, Gurgaon. Also, you can book an appointment with Lybrate.