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Hip and Knee Arthritis

1. Osteoarthritis
2. Rheumatoid arthritis
1. Osteoarthritis

anatomical diagram illustrating hip & knee join suffering from/damaged by osteoarthritis

Condition: Osteoarthritis Anterior Knee Pain/Chondromalacia/Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome is is a condition that develops overtime from the gradual wear and tear of the joints from either persistent use and injury from living an active lifestyle or the strain on your joints from an inactive lifestyle. It occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones begin to wear down causing rubbing and friction between the bones. This results in:

  • Pain: Your joint may hurt during or after movement.
  • Stiffness: Your joint may feel stiff when you wake up in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
  • Tenderness: Your joint may feel tender when pressure is lightly applied.
  • Loss of Flexibility: You may not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.
  • Grating Sensation: Y ou may hear or feel a grating sensation when you use the joint.
  • Bone Spurs: E xtra bits of bone may form around the affected joint and feel like a hard lump.

Treatment: Medications and physical therapy are most regularly used to manage the discomfort of osteoarthritis. Acetaminophen's, such as tylenol, and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs such as Advil are used and available over the counter however depending on the severity your doctor may prescribe stronger medications. Physical therapy can be used to reduce pain and increase range of motion.

There are also surgical solutions. injections of cortisone into the joint can relieve pain however Cortisone should be used sparingly as it can worsen joint damage overall with continuous use. Lubrication injections of hyaluronic acid, which is similar to joint fluid, help be creating a cushion for your joint.

After Surgery
Depending on the complexity of the surgery you will likely stay in hospital to recover a night or two. You will need crutches for approximately two months for you bone to heal properly. Occasionally a brace is used to support the bone while it heals. Rehabilitation efforts may take as long as six months as will include exercises to strengthen your thigh muscles, increase your range of motion, and improve your balance.

At Home
Try not to put any weight on the affected knee at first but by 10 to 12 weeks you should be able to apply your full weight again. Physio therapy should begin immediately even when you can not apply much or any weight.

When to Seek medical advice
Complications are rare however if you notice increasing pain, excessive swelling, or a high temperature you should contact your physician. If you suffer a serious fall or torque your leg within the first two months of surgery you may jeopardize healing.

Joint Replacement is a procedure in which a surgeon replaces part of all of the surface of the affected joint. The damaged joint is replaced with an implant that mimics the motion of the actual joint. The artificial joint is made from combinations of metal, plastic or ceramic components.

After Surgery
for the first four to six weeks after the operation you will require crutches or a walker to help support you. You should be up quickly however you should avoid twisting at the hip, bending more than a 90* angle, crossing your legs, low chairs initially. Most people will be able to resume normal activity within two to three months. Most patients are allowed to go home within three to five days.

At Home
Most patients will experience temporary pain in the replaced joint because the surrounding muscles are weak and your body is adjusted to the new joint. Exercise is important to help rebuild those muscles. You will work with a physiotherapist to help rehabilitate the joint. When to Seek medical advice Complications are rare however i f your pain increases after surgery speak to your physician. The first few weeks are critical for recovery so be careful to avoid falls; take care on stairs, in the bathroom, and the kitchen. If you do fall contact your physician.

2. Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis explained

  female physician examines knee of male patient sitting on a table

Condition: Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that typically affects the smaller joints, but can lead to hip and knee discomfort. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of your joints and causes a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity. The signs and symptoms include tender swollen joints, morning joint stiffness, firm bumps of tissue under the skin on your arms (Rheumatoid nodules), fatigue, fever and weight loss.

Treatment: There are a number of nonsurgical options. Medications and physical therapy are most regularly used to manage the discomfort of osteoarthritis. Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs such as Advil are used and available over the counter however depending on the severity your doctor may prescribe stronger medications. Steroids and antirheumatic drugs are also employed as they can reduce the inflamation and slow the progression of the condition. Newer treatments include biologic agents which target the immune system to reduce its inflammatory response however these have a greater risk of infection. Physical therapy can be used to reduce pain and increase range of motion and should be used in conjunction with any of these treatments.

If surgery is necessary it will most likely be a Joint Replacement. This is a procedure in which a surgeon replaces part of all of the surface of the affected joint. The damaged joint is replaced with an implant that mimics the motion of the actual joint. The artificial joint is made from combinations of metal, plastic or ceramic components.

After Surgery
for the first four to six weeks after the operation you will require crutches or a walker to help support you. You should be up quickly however you should avoid twisting at the hip, bending more than a 90* angle, crossing your legs, low chairs initially. Most people will be able to resume normal activity within two to three months. Most patients are allowed to go home within three to five days.

At Home
Most patients will experience temporary pain in the replaced joint because the surrounding muscles are weak and your body is adjusted to the new joint. Exercise is important to help rebuild those muscles. You will work with a physiotherapist to help rehabilitate the joint.

When to Seek Medical Advice
Complications are rare however i f your pain increases after surgery speak to your physician. The first few weeks are critical for recovery so be careful to avoid falls; take care on stairs, in the bathroom, and the kitchen. If you do fall contact your physician.

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