Osteoarthritis of the Knee and Treatment Options

Dr. Grant Lum, MD, CCFP, Dip Sports Med, Sports Medicine Physician, discusses arthritis of the knee, diagnosis and treatment options.

Loading the player...

Dr. Grant Lum, MD, CCFP, Dip Sports Med, Sports Medicine Physician, discusses arthritis of the knee, diagnosis and treatment options.
18235 Views
Share
Video transcript

Dr. Grant Lum, MD, CCFP, Dip Sports Med, Sports Medicine Physician, discusses arthritis of the knee, diagnosis and treatment options.

Most people think of osteoarthritis of the knee as a problem of just older people. But in fact, if people have had injuries to the knee, this can lead to very early onset osteoarthritis.

Patients in their 30s, even 20s, may have developed arthritis as a consequence of childhood injuries. Arthritis by definition means damage to the cartilage and the joint, so looking at a knee joint, if we think about the knee as divided into three different compartments, it’s made up of the medial, the lateral, and what’s called the patellofemoral compartment.

These are the three different working surfaces of the knee where there’s cartilage. The cartilage is there to decrease the friction that occurs as components are moving across one another, which functions kind of like Teflon. So the purpose of that cartilage is to allow smooth movement of the different parts of the knee against one another.

When the cartilage breaks down as those surfaces are moving, they’re going to create friction essentially and inflammation, and that’s what leads to pain and swelling.

You can treat osteoarthritis with a number of different types of treatment: one, physiotherapy to work on the muscles around the knee. If you think of the knee like a shock absorber and the muscles like a spring, the stronger that spring is the less force is being applied to the actual inside of the joint.

Two, you can have things like anti-inflammatories or other pain medications. Three, cortisone injection into the joint - that’s quite good for reducing inflammation. Fou, something called viscosupplementation.

This is a protein that’s synthesized in the laboratory and then injected into the knee. It’s the same protein that’s meant to be in the knee in the first place, so it’s the same analogous substance to the protein you actually have in your knee.

But by boosting up that protein content, we increase the viscosity of the fluid in the joint, and that actually cushions the inside of the knee better.

The last treatment would be something like surgery. So in patients where there is substantial breakdown of the joint, we can replace those joint surfaces.

If you think you have knee osteoarthritis or you have other questions, you could consult your family physician, and you may be referred to a physiotherapist, a sports medicine physician or an orthopedic surgeon.

Video in conjunction with Dr Grant Lum and HealthChoicesFirst

Presenter: Dr. Grant Lum, Sports Medicine Physician, Toronto, ON

Local Practitioners: Sports Medicine Physician

Knee Injury Video Quiz ( 28 participated.)

Osteoarthritis of the knee

Questions True False  
1 Osteoarthritis only occurs in elderly people.

 
2 Osteoarthritis is basically the breakdown and wearing out of the cartilage between the joints.

 
3 Over the counter anti-inflammatories are the one treatment option for the pain of osteoarthritis.

 
4 Physiotherapy on the knee and leg muscles can improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

 

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.