Arthritis is a chronic disorder that can affect any of your joints, but knees are often among the most severely affected. If you're battling pain and loss of function because of knee arthritis, Ashvin K. Dewan, MD in Sugar Land, Texas, can help. Fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon Dr. Dewan provides a range of effective nonsurgical therapies to relieve the symptoms of knee arthritis, as well as minimally invasive surgical options if no other approaches are working. Call the practice today to find out more or book an appointment using the online form.
Knee Arthritis Q & A
What is knee arthritis?
Arthritis is a common disease that causes chronic, incurable pain and stiffness in your joints. Of the more than 100 types of arthritis, two of the most common are rheumatoid arthritis and gout. The most widespread form of arthritis by far, though, is osteoarthritis, which affects millions of people as they get older.
Arthritis can affect one or many joints, depending on the type of you have. The forms most likely to cause knee arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a wear-and-tear form of arthritis that typically takes many years to develop. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune complaint in which your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body.
With osteoarthritis, the ends of the bones inside your knee joints lose their coating of protective cartilage. With rheumatoid arthritis, your body destroys the joint linings. In both cases, the resulting friction between bones leads to inflammation.
What are the symptoms of knee arthritis?
The chief symptoms of knee arthritis are pain, stiffness, and loss of function. Arthritis can make your knees ache much of the time, and cause intense, throbbing pain if you have a flare-up.
Flare-ups usually happen in response to a trigger. There are two primary triggers for a flare-up of knee arthritis. One is a change in the weather, typically when barometric pressure falls, leading to wet and cold weather. The other is doing more physical activity than usual or changing the types of activities you do.
Along with pain and stiffness, your knees are likely to feel hot and tender and might swell. They might also become twisted or distorted. Stiffness is usually worse after a period of inactivity but eases as you move about.
Having knee arthritis makes it hard to kneel because of the pain, and it can be a major problem getting up from a kneeling position because your knees get weaker as the arthritis worsens.
How is knee arthritis treated?
Knee arthritis is incurable, but Dr. Dewan can help you manage the pain and improve your mobility using conservative treatments such as:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Physical therapy
- Prescription medications
- Steroid injections
- Hyaluronic acid injections (viscosupplementation)
- Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
- Biologic medicines
- Stem cell therapy
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
A treatment plan combining a selection of these therapies with lifestyle changes, like losing weight, stopping smoking, eating a healthier diet, and managing excess stress, can make a significant difference to your arthritis symptoms.
Dr. Dewan always explores nonoperative options first, reserving surgery for cases where there are no viable alternatives. If you do need surgery, Dr. Dewan has considerable expertise in carrying out minimally invasive procedures like knee arthroscopy and full or partial knee replacement surgery.
If you have knee arthritis, call Ashvin K. Dewan, MD today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.