Degenerative Joint Disease of the Knee—Treatment Options in Louisville, KY
Like most joints throughout the body, the knee is lined with flexible cartilage that protects the bone surfaces and reduces friction. Degenerative joint disease occurs as this normally effective cushion gradually breaks down and wears away. Symptoms can include pain, swelling, stiffness, and a grinding sensation during movement.
Also known as osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease is a progressive, wear-and-tear condition that generally worsens with time. It often develops along with the natural aging process; in fact, it is one of the most commonly treated conditions at Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic in Louisville, Kentucky.
How Is Degenerative Joint Disease Treated?
Although degenerative joint disease cannot be reversed, its effects can often be managed. For instance, many people with osteoarthritis of the knee benefit from:
- Weight loss, if necessary, to reduce stress on the knees
- Physical therapy, including stretches to improve flexibility and low-impact exercises to strengthen the muscles that support the knees
- Supportive devices such as a brace, a cane, or shoe inserts
- Non-narcotic pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Cortisone injections
If degenerative joint disease advances to the point that conservative therapies no longer provide adequate symptom relief, a knee replacement may be considered. When performing this surgical procedure, a surgeon removes the damaged joint surfaces and replaces them with a prosthetic made of high-grade metal and plastic parts. The artificial joint is designed to mimic the function of a natural joint, and many patients who undergo a knee replacement achieve effective pain relief, better mobility, and a higher quality of life.
If you’ve been diagnosed with degenerative joint disease of the knee, you can discuss your treatment options with a specialist at Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic in Louisville, KY. Contact us today to set up an appointment.