Degenerative Arthritis of The Knee Review
Degenerative arthritis develops as a result of age, injury or repeated stress on a joint. It is also known as osteoarthritis. Cartilage is found at the end of the bones. Cartilage is a slippery substance that keeps the bones from rubbing together and causing pain. If the cartilage wears down enough, the friction of the bones not only causes pain, but it also causes the body to make bony growths called spurs. These can also be quite painful. Another complication of degenerative arthritis is the development of a subchondral cyst at the end of the bone and beneath the cartilage. The knees and hips are especially prone to degenerative arthritis. Obesity, which is becoming increasingly common, puts tremendous strain on these weight bearing joints. Over time, the result is degenerative arthritis.
The typical treatment for early or mid-stage arthritis of the knee has included physical therapy, lifestyle changes, and the use of pain killers and anti-inflammatory medications. Unfortunately, these treatments are not always very effective or they can have undesirable side effects. Studies have been done using knee cartilage injections as a means of treating osteoarthritis of the knee. Hyaluronic acid injections place this substance in the synovial fluid that surrounds and lubricates the joint. Although researchers are not exactly sure how and why this works, it does seem to increase the viscoelasticity of the fluid in the synovial sac. Hyaluronic acid costs $660 for 5 vials (wholesale). Your doctor will likely add other fees.
If the arthritis has progressed to an advanced stage, surgery may be the only solution. In some cases, the surgeon can actually reshape and realign the bone. Currently, it is very common for people to have the entire knee joint replaced with an artificial knee. The decision to have surgery should never be taken lightly. Have a frank discussion with your doctor about the pros and cons. The average cost of knee replacement surgery is $40,000.