Osteoarthritis of the knee is often referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis and affects the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones and would normally allow smooth pain free movement. Osteoarthritis is thought to affect more than 8.5 million people living in the UK and is the most common reason for joint replacement surgery.
The treatment of knee arthritis is multi-modal and includes :
SURGERY FOR EARLY KNEE ARTHRITIS
Surgery for early knee arthritis depends on the pattern on wear within the knee and the symptoms that the patient is experiencing. Where patients are experiencing frequent episodes of the knee collapsing, giving way or locking in certain positions there may be some merit in Knee Arthroscopy (key hole surgery) to remove any loose fragments of bone or cartilage, or tidy up a torn meniscus that is getting stuck in the knee. In general knee arthroscopy is no longer recommended for knees with established arthritis as often the symptoms respond only transiently to surgery.
In early knee arthritis it may be possible to re-align the knee to protect the worn out area of the joint and encourage weight bearing through the healthy part of the knee. This is called osteotomy and is most commonly performed on the tibia (High Tibial Osteotomy). This form of surgery will not be appropriate for all patients as it depends on the pattern of arthritis within the knee.