The following is designed to present an overview of Osteoarthritis of the Knee so that you may better understand what it is, how it can be treated, and what to expect.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of the many kinds of arthritic diagnoses which affect joints. Fortunately, it is frequently the most easily managed. Osteoarthritis, sometimes called degenerative arthritis or osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown of the surface which lines the ends of the bones inside joints. This surface on the end of the bone is a type of cartilage called articular cartilage which is a very resilient tissue.
There are basically two types of cartilage inside the knee joint. The first type of cartilage is called the meniscus (meniscal cartilage) which forms two C-shaped structures which act as the bushings or shock absorbers located between the thigh bone and the leg bone at the knee joint. The second type of cartilage, articular cartilage, acts like tread on the ends of the bone, and is usually involved with degenerative arthritis. You are probably familiar with this because if you take a chicken joint and open it up, this is the glistening, smooth white substance on the ends of the bone. This is the articular cartilage (tread) which is involved with the arthritic process. The degeneration of articular cartilage (joint tread) is a part of the aging process. Nearly 90% of all people over the age of sixty show some signs of osteoarthritis. Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, with physical therapy, antiinflammatory medications, and in some cases surgery, it can be managed allowing the patient to live a more comfortable and active life.
- Next >>