What is Osteoarthritis of the Knee?
Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee is one of the five leading causes of disability among elderly men and women. The risk for disability from osteoarthritis of the knee is as great as that from cardiovascular disease.
Osteoarthritis of the knee usually occurs in knees that have experienced trauma, infection, or injury. A smooth, slippery, fibrous connective tissue, called articular cartilage, acts as a protective cushion between bones. Arthritis develops as the cartilage begins to deteriorate or is lost. As the articular cartilage is lost, the joint space between the bones narrows. Over a period of years, the joint slowly changes. In severe cases, when the articular cartilage is gone, the thickened bone ends rub against each other and wear away. This results in a deformity of the joint. Normal activity becomes painful and difficult.
How is osteoarthritis of the knee diagnosed?
Osteoarthritis of the knee can be diagnosed in two ways: patient-reported symptoms, such as pain or disability, or actual physical signs, such as the changes in the joint seen on X-rays. In most cases, both pathology and patient-reported symptoms are present. An evaluation of osteoarthritis of the knee includes a complete history and physical examination.
How is osteoarthritis of the knee treated?
Initial treatment is generally directed at pain management. Osteoarthritis of the knee pain may have different causes, depending on the individual and the stage of the disease. Thus, treatment is tailored to the individual.
In general, treatment options fall into five major groups:
• Health and behavior modifications, such as patient education, physical therapy, exercise, weight loss, and bracing
• Drug therapies, including simple pain relievers such as aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, COX-2 specific inhibitors, opiates and stronger drugs for patients who do not respond to other drugs or treatments, and glucosamine and/or chondroitin sulfate
• Intra-articular treatments, including corticosteroid injections or injections of hyaluronic acid (viscosupplementation)
• Surgery, including arthroscopy, osteotomy, and arthroplasty (joint replacement)
• Alternative treatments such as Laser Therapy, acupuncture, magnetic pulse therapy, vitamin regimes and topical pain relievers
Dr. Berry’s Class IV Laser Knee Program
Instead of masking the symptoms of degenerative joint disease of the knee pain with anti- inflammatory pills or cortisone shots Dr. Berry’s Laser Knee Program treats the root of the problem without drugs, knee injections, or knee surgery. Dr. Berry’s program utilizes the latest FDA Cleared Class IV Lasers, and combines them with other therapies to help reduce the pain, strengthen the muscles around the knee joint, and increase range of motion. Most importantly these treatments help reduce inflammation/swelling, which helps improve overall function of the knee.
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