Have you stopped or cut back on your favorite activities or fitness routines because it’s just too painful on your knees? If so, you just might be one of 15 million Americans who suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee. According to New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer, osteoarthritis usually impacts people over the age of 55 and nearly half of us will develop it in our lifetimes.
Not surprisingly, individuals who have worked or participated in long-term impact activities such as sports are at a greater risk. Genetics can also be a factor in developing osteoarthritis, as can obesity because the extra weight puts greater strain on the knees, thereby escalating the disease.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disorder that causes the cartilage cushion in healthy joints to break down, causing knee pain. Your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon finds that symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, instability and even a crunching sensation when you move.
The disease is a leading cause of disability that ultimately becomes a quality of life issue. Osteoarthritis begins as minor discomfort and reduced mobility but evolves to more severe pain, making simple tasks like climbing stairs and walking difficult.
The good news is that with advances in non-surgical and surgical treatments, many people suffering from knee pain can find relief. If you are experiencing knee pain, shedding extra weight may help, and switching to low-impact physical activities such as swimming or biking will put less strain on your knees.
Depending on the progression of your disease and your overall health you may ultimately be a candidate for partial or total knee replacement. Knee replacements have restored mobility and comfort to many, and patients of your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon often remark that they only wish they’d done it sooner.
New state-of–the-art surgical procedures have seen improvements in outcomes over traditional partial knee replacement and are a great option for some patients. After a short hospital stay patients typically experience a rapid recovery period and are able to return to many of their normal activities.
If you are experiencing knee pain, call the office of New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer today to discuss the range of treatment options available to you. Treatment may be easier if addressed sooner rather than later, so don’t wait until you can’t climb the stairs.