Hip and Knee Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition thought of as ‘wear and tear’. It can affect any joint in the body.

The problem occurs due to degeneration of the articular cartilage that lines the joint surface. In healthy joints, this surface provides a smooth gliding pain free range of motion. In arthritis, the cartilage becomes damaged. Fragments can break off causing inflammation in the joint. Pain can develop. 

In knee arthritis, the joint surfaces break down causing pain and inflammation.

If untreated, hip or knee arthritis can become progressively painful and stiff. You may be unable to straighten your leg fully or bend it. This results in an abnormal gait. The muscles will gradually become weaker and you lose confidence in your hip or knee joint.

Joint replacement can be very helpful if conservative treatments do not work.

In hip arthritis (like the knee), the articular cartilage breaks down causing pain and swelling.

It is important to consider that hip and knee replacement surgery is not without risk.

Hip Arthritis

Simple analgesia, using a walking stick and maintaining and ideal body weight can help. Injections may also help in certain situations.

A total hip replacement is an effective treatment for osteoarthritis.

A hip replacement involves removing the damage joint an replacing it with an artificial implant

A conventional hip replacement can be planned before surgery.

Knee Arthritis

For knees, simple treatments can be very effective and include activity modification and the use of simple pain killers as required. A walking stick might help. Sometimes people may consider injections for symptomatic relief. You may wish to also try anti-inflammatory creams and gels that can be rubbed into the joint.

With knee arthritis, a bandage may help with confidence. Off-loading braces may also help with symptoms if your arthritis is mainly on one half of the knee.

A knee replacement is an effective treatment for arthritis.

A knee replacement operation replaces the damaged surfaces with an artificial implants

Further information on osteoarthritis can be found on the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) website.

Acknowledgements

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Osteoarthritis.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Homerstrykercenterlibrary

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:CFCF

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Mikael_Häggström