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What is knee osteoarthritis ?

The term "knee osteoarthritis" refers to the degeneration and the progressive destruction of the articular cartilage of the joint. It is a degenerative disorder, which, is deteriorating, at a different rate for each patient. Generally, osteoarthritis displays exacerbations and remissions. Over time, outbreaks are more frequent and more intense while the intervals of depressions gradually reduced.

What is joint cartilage?

Articular cartilage is a thin rubber layer of connective tissue which covers the articulating surfaces of the femur, tibia and patella. The presence of cartilage makes the articular surfaces smooth and soft, ensuring smooth and painless another piece. However, with age, joint cartilage begins to degenerate. Loses its elasticity and sturdiness and is sensitive to minor injuries, which are difficult to heal.

Continuous minor injuries of the articular cartilage gradually lead to destruction and therefore to faulty operation. The worn-defective articular cartilage can no longer reduce the friction between the articular surfaces, resulting in movement of the joint can be problematic and painful. Degeneration-damaged articular cartilage marks install osteoarthritdas.

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What are the symptoms of patients with knee osteoarthritis? 

The main symptom of osteoarthritis is pain. In the early stages of the disease, patients experience pain in the affected knee after activity eg standing, walking, use of scale and, in more serious forms of osteoarthritis, pain occurs at rest. In addition, patients may present Lameness (difficulty walking) rigidity (movement difficulties) knee instability often effusion episodes (edema-swelling of the joints). 

How is diagnosed the disease?

Diagnosing osteoarthritdas is clinical, that is based on history and physical examination of the patients and confirmed by simple radiographic control. Radiographic evidence for osteoarthritis are:
 narrowing the joint space
 abnormality articular surfaces
 cysts
 the osteophytes
the deformation of the joint.


What is the treatment of osteoarthritis?

The treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee depends on the severity of symptoms, age and functional level of patients.
In young patients and in cases of moderate osteoarthritdas, treatment is conservative (non-surgical). Generally, it is recommended:
loss or weight control
modification activities
common painkillers
mild exercise or physical therapy.

At the same time, we can fill in the conservative treatment by applying bloodless biological therapies, such as intraarticular injection (injection):
hyaluronic acid high molecular weight
injectable collagen
Combination of autologous platelets (PRP) with hyaluronic acid.


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How is the surgery performed? 

Surgical treatment is the definitive solution of osteoarthritis and involves the application of total knee replacement. By cheiourgiki surgery, the orthopedic surgeon removes the damaged parts of the knee and replacing them with metal prostheses (implants). The intentions of total arthroplasty are similar in anatomy (shape and size) and leitoutrgia normal knee, so that the patient can obtain a "new" almost iso knee to "normal". 

To conduct the surgery, is usually applied spinal anesthesia and needed few days of hospitalization. Immediately postoperatively (from the first day after surgery), the patient is part of a rehabilitation program and walks with the help of a physiotherapist, according to the recommendations of the attending orthopedic.

How is the lifespan total knee replacement?

The lifespan of arthroplasty depends on factors related to the patient (age, weight, activity level) and by factors related to the surgical technique (good fixation of prostheses, placing them in the correct position, respect the soft tissues of the joints).

Generally, the total knee replacement surgery is a very high success rates and intentions typically last for decades. Especially today we have technologies that allow us to implement customized technical for each arthritic knee separately and ensure patients a very good living.

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