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Updated on December 7, 2020

Surgical Options for Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee is the commonest joint disorder in the elderly, with a prevalence of about 30% in adults over the age of 60 years . Patients complain of symptoms such as joint pain, stiffness, effusion and limitation of joint function which affect their daily activities. (click to read https://blog.teleme.co/2019/11/24/osteoarthritis-of-the-knee/)

Conservative Treatment Includes:

  • Physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles around the knee
  • Wearing of Knee Brace
  • Weight reduction
  • Supplements (such as Glucosamine or Piascledine)
  • Pain-relief medication (such as Paracetamol, Diclofenac, Naproxen, Celecoxib or Etoricoxib)

Non-Surgical Procedures Include

  • Corticoid knee injections
  • Hyaluronic Acid knee injections
  • Plasma-Rich Platelet knee injections
  • Stem cell knee injections

Surgical Procedures

Surgical treatment would be required when symptoms persist even after trying conservative or non-surgical options.  The choice of surgery is based on the patient’s symptoms and degree of suffering, stage of the OA, patient’s age and fitness level as well as patient’s expectations.

Artificial Knee Replacement

1. Arthroscopic Debridement and/or Cartilage Repair

The surgery uses a key-hole type surgery to clean the joint and remove any debris which may contribute to the inflammatory process in the joint.  At the same time, the surgeon may inject stem cells or perform bone marrow stimulating drilling to promote cartilage repair.

2. Osteotomy with axis-correction

This procedure can help uni-compartmental OA of the knee by altering the weight bearing axis of the lower extremity and transfer the weight load away from the damage area of the knee. 

3. Arthroplasty

Joint arthroplasty (known as joint replacement) is the treatment for advanced knee OA.  The arthroplasty can be either Uni-compartmental Knee Arthroplasty (UKA) or Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) which is the more common procedure. 

After Knee Surgery Care

It is important to take good care of your knee and your health to prevent possible post-operative complications such as infection, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), knee stiffness or muscle healing.  You should be able to walk unaided by around 1-2 months and get back to your daily activities by around 3-6 months.  Avoid high impact sports (which involves jumping or repetitive knee bending) until your doctor or physiotherapist has advised that you are ready.

  • Eat healthily to include a diet rich with fruits, vegetables and protein
  • You may be prescribed pain medication or antibiotics after your surgery
  • You may need to wear compression stockings if you are high risk of getting DVT
  • You will need to perform knee and leg exercises regularly several times a day to ensure your knee function recovers better and faster.  Your doctor or physiotherapist will advise you on your schedule
Knee Replacement Post-Op Exercises
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Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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