The knee is one of the biggest and most complex joints in the body. The knee joint joins the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). The smaller bone that runs close by the tibia (fibula) and the kneecap (patella) are different bones that make the knee joint. The ends of these long bones ordinarily have a smooth covering of the ligament (articular ligament) which is responsible for smooth coasting development of the knee joint. Ligaments associated with the knee issues that remains to be worked out leg muscles that move the knee joint. Tendons join the knee bones and give dependability to the knee:
The foremost cruciate tendon keeps the femur from sliding in reverse on the tibia (or the tibia sliding forward on the femur). The back cruciate tendon keeps the femur from sliding forward on the tibia (or the tibia from sliding in reverse on the femur). The medial and lateral collateral ligaments prevent the femur from sliding side to side. All these 4 tendons are important for ordinary capacity of the Knee joint. The Anterior and Posterior Cruciate ligaments generally work in unison. Two C-shaped pieces of cartilage called the medial and lateral menisci act as shock absorbers between the femur and tibia.
The knee joint’s main function is to bend, straighten, and bear the weight of the body, along with the ankles and hips. The knee, more than just a simple hinged joint, however, also twists and rotates. In order to perform all of these actions and to support the entire body while doing so, the knee relies on a number of structures mentioned above. The human Knee joint performs one of the most complex movements across all three axes. They are bending, sideways movements and rotations. In our day to day life we use all the three movements in varying degrees to perform activities like walking , jogging, climbing up and down stairs, sitting on & getting up from chair, getting in and out of car.
Osteoarthritis usually starts after the age of 40. It is a progressive condition that causes the degeneration of the cartilage within the knee joint. The cartilage acts as a cushion between the two major bones in the leg. Due to osteoarthritis, the cartilage wears away leading to two bones rubbing against each other and cause pain and restriction of movement.
This pain usually starts with a low-intensity pain which keeps on increasing. During a later age, it can become so severe that it interferes with daily activities and disturbs sleep. There can also be swelling or stiffening of the knee joint leading to decreased movement.
In the early stages, the condition can be managed in various ways:
- Weight loss
- Standard joint preserving exercises
- Intra joint injection
- Medicine (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids)
- The absolute treatment is a half or total knee replacement surgery.
Treatment options are below:
- Physical therapy
- Exercise (low impact)
- Knee Injections
- Medication supervised by a doctor
- Weight loss
If conservative treatments fail to improve knee function and discomfort, one may be a candidate for a surgical treatment.
The surgery options are below:
- Arthroscopy and meniscal or ligament surgery
- Alignment osteotomy (for bent legs)
- Partial knee replacement
- Total knee replacement