The two most common forms of knee arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, although other forms may affect your knees, as well. While there are many treatments available for arthritis, not every treatment is suitable for every patient. An orthopedic doctor treats arthritis based on its severity and how it impacts your life.
In the early stages of any form of arthritis, you tend to have pain. You might also have swelling or tenderness. At this point, you don’t usually have a loss in the range of motion.
Treatments focus on reducing your discomfort during this stage. Therefore, your doctor may recommend you take an over-the-counter pain reliever. They may also recommend you use ice to combat swelling.
Exercise is a vital part of the treatment plan, as well, so you can maintain your range of motion. Your doctor may also suggest you lose weight if you’re overweight because extra weight puts additional stress on your already vulnerable knees.
If you have arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis, your orthopedist may prescribe medication to slow the progression of the arthritis.
As your knee arthritis progresses, you’ll notice that your pain will worsen. The swelling and inflammation will become worse, as well. At this stage, you may start to notice you’re losing range of motion in the knee. Keep in mind that most forms of arthritis progress slowly, so this may not happen until years after your diagnosis.
Your doctor will still continue to recommend at-home remedies for you to use to combat your discomfort. Exercise is still vital at this stage to prevent further limitations in the range of motion in your knee. In fact, physical therapy may be encouraged at this stage to ensure you do the right exercises and stretches to improve function and reduce pain symptoms.
Your orthopedist may also recommend corticosteroids or another injectable medication to reduce swelling and pain in your joints. When you have moderate arthritis, your doctor may prescribe an opioid pain reliever for use when symptoms get out of hand. These drugs act on your nervous system and change how your body perceives pain.
Once your arthritis becomes severe, you may notice that your range of motion is very limited. The pain may seriously disrupt your normal activities. Even simply walking uphill, climbing stairs or outdoor activities may exasperate symptoms.
Your orthopedic surgeon may try conservative measures like steroid injections to reduce some of your discomfort. If you don’t already have a prescription for an opioid pain reliever for your arthritis, your surgeon may prescribe one now to use as needed.
If your arthritis progresses to a point where nothing works in terms of reducing pain and discomfort, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend surgery. The surgery depends on the type of arthritis you have as well as the damage it has done to your joint. For instance, your surgeon may perform a synovectomy if you have rheumatoid arthritis. During this surgery, your orthopedic surgeon removes the joint lining of the knee. In some cases, you may need a total joint replacement, which is when your surgeon removes the damaged knee joint and replaces it with a prosthetic one.
Orthopedic Doctor in O’Fallon, MO for Arthritis Treatment
At Advanced Bone & Joint, our experts have a wealth of experience treating knee arthritis of every kind. If you suffer from arthritis symptoms in your joints, we can help you find relief.
Book an appointment with Advanced Bone & Joint, serving O’Fallon and nearby areas, for a treatment plan for arthritis in your knees. Call us at (636) 229-4222 to book an appointment, or simply request one online. We look forward to serving you soon!