Available Surgical Treatments for Knee Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of musculoskeletal pain and disability in the knee joint, based on various medical references. The first option of treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee is usually conservative nonsurgical treatment. However, if conservative treatment failed to ease pain and improve knee function, the physician may recommend surgery. Joint replacement surgeries became controversial due to defective hip prostheses like the ones manufactured by Stryker Orthopaedics.

Various research studies have provided conflicting evidence regarding activities and the development of osteoarthritis. It has been estimated that 12 percent of Americans aged 25 years and above have clinical signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis. Other studies have shown 80 percent of people aged 75 years and above have symptoms of osteoarthritis. On the other hand, cadaveric studies have shown universal signs of arthritis in patients aged 65 years and above. About half of osteoarthritis patients show symptoms such as joint pain, stiffness, effusion and limitation of joint function.

The choice of treatment should be a joint decision between the patient and the physician. The purpose of surgical treatment for knee osteoarthritis is to ease pain, enhance function, and recover overall symptoms. Patient satisfaction is a fundamental goal in treating osteoarthritis of the knee, doctors say. Surgical treatment options include arthroscopy, osteotomy, and arthroplasty.

The following information is based on the Improving Musculoskeletal Care in America project of the Council on Research, Evidence-based Practice Committee, and Department of Research and Scientific Affairs, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that employs tiny incisions and miniature instruments. Arthroscopy may be beneficial if the joint pain is caused by a tear in the cartilage or meniscus, or if bits of debris are causing problems with bending or straightening the joint.

Meanwhile, an osteotomy may be prescribed if damage to the knee cartilage is mainly in one compartment of the knee. An osteotomy may restore knee function and reduce pain caused by osteoarthritis. It may even increase the possibility of the growth of new cartilage. Even though an osteotomy can relieve pain and improve function, the beneficial results frequently weaken over the long run.

An arthroplasty, on the other hand, is a joint replacement procedure. If the knee pain is severe and extensively limits the patient’s movement, the doctor may give a recommendation that the damaged bone and tissue be replaced by an artificial joint. Before the patient agrees to undergo an arthroplasty, the orthopaedic surgeon should discuss the type of available knee replacement prostheses; the type of surgery, minimal incision or standard incision; the possible risks; and the rehabilitation procedures. Joint replacement surgeries have been considered risky due to a high failure rate of artificial devices like the ones involved in the Stryker hip recall in July 2012.

 The Stryker Hip Replacement Lawsuit Center at strykerhipreplacementlawsuit.net features in-depth discussion about the updates on the lawsuits filed by the affected patients of the recalled Stryker hip replacement system.

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