Scenario 3: an osteoarthritic knee
A 75 year old lady had developed a knock knee deformity in her right leg and found that she could no longer trust her knee as it would occasionally give way, especially when she climbed down the stairs.
This lady has one type of osteoarthritis of the knee, which is the gradual wearing of surface cartilage which happens over the years. This can affect one part of the knee or large areas. Depending on the area that is worn, different patterns of pain and instability can be experienced by the patient.
Generally early osteoarthritis can be managed with various conservative measures and it is very important to maintain a full range of motion in the joint with regular exercises. Conservative measures include regular exercises and physiotherapy, injections of cartilage protein, steroid injections and weight loss. When permanent pain and instability is a feature, partial or full joint replacement surgery may be indicated.
Knee replacements are now extremely successful procedures with very high patient satisfaction rates. Knee replacements have advanced tremendously in the last 20 years and most patients now have rapid recovery programs enabling them to return home 2 or 3 days after surgery. Implants that are well fixed can last 15 – 20 years and return people to excellent function and give them pain relief and confidence in their knee.
Read about Knee Replacement