ways to tackle knee problems

Every one, from the college athlete to a desktop junkie, faces knee problems once in a while.

For a lucky few, these knee problems go away with rest and mild medication. For the unlucky most, knee problems become lifelong battles against constant pain and discomfort. Today, Dr. Manoj Kumar, Consultant at Moolchand Orthopedics Hospital, tells us how we can avoid knee problems and how, once diagnosed, knee problems can be treated. Over to Dr. Manoj Kumar...

With the change in lifestyle, the incidence of knee pain and knee problems is increasing nowadays. Usually, knee problems are seen in elderly population but in the recent past, there is a change in this trend. Now, large numbers of cases are seen in relatively younger adults in the age group of 50s and even in the late 40s.

The most common presentation of knee problems is:

Pain and swelling in the joint

Difficulty in walking stairs

Getting up from a low seat

One may feel a locking sensation off and on

The pain may be constant or recurrent in nature

Arthritis is the commonest cause of knee problems. It is a wear and tear process and is mainly aggravated if a person is over-weight. It is more common in people suffering from lifestyle disorders, like diabetes, gout and thyroid diseases or sedentary lifestyles. Arthritis may be caused by pre-existing disease injury (major or multiple minor injuries) to the joint. In the severe form of arthritis, the deformed joint makes the patient disabled; they may hardly be able to walk, be dependent on others and totally bedridden too.

In the initial stages of knee problems, the treatment involves rest to the joints, knee support, heat treatment and anti-inflammatory drugs (to be used only if it is prescribed by your doctor). Physiotherapy is a useful tool in the treatment process. Most of the cases through this conservative approach have given good results. But still, if anyone is not responding to this treatment, one may consider available surgical options.

Surgical intervention

In early stages when one seeks surgical invention, arthroscopy (a key hole endoscopic procedure) is a useful tool and can be done as a day care procedure. But in severe arthritis, the option available is total knee joint replacement surgery. A patient can start walking on the third day of the surgery and within 3 weeks, he will be able to perform regular day to day activities independently and lead a pain free life ahead.

Preventive measures

To conclude, it is right to say that it is better to take some preventive measure to avoid knee problems. A few of these measures are:

Eating a balanced diet

Weight management so that your weight is in proportion to your height (as per BMI)

Exercising on a regular basis

Avoiding trauma to the joints

Keeping diseases like thyroid and diabetes under control

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