Life style changes
If one is overweight, try to lose weight by doing more physical activity and eating a healthier diet. Regular exercise keeps you active and mobile and builds up muscle, thereby strengthening the joints and can improve symptoms.
Painkillers help with pain and stiffness but they don’t affect the arthritis itself and won’t repair the damage to your joint. Creams and gels can be applied directly onto painful joints . They are well tolerated because very little is absorbed into your bloodstream.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are nutritional supplements. Studies in animals have found that glucosamine can both delay the breakdown of and repair damaged cartilage. However there is insufficient evidence to support the use of glucosamine in humans and one can expect only a mild-to-moderate reduction in pain
If pain from osteoarthritis is severe joint steroid injections are injected into the joints that can reduces swelling and pain. The injections can start working within a day or so and may improve pain for several weeks or months.
Hyaluronic acid injections, which help to lubricate your knee joint, are sometimes given but recent evidence that it works isn’t convincing.
May be recommended if you have severe pain and/or mobility problems.
If one has frequent painful locking/stiffening episodes especially in the knee joint,an operation to wash out loose fragments of bone and other tissue as joint can be performed by a minimally invasive key hole procedure called Arthroscopy.
Joint replacement surgery
Joint replacement therapy is most commonly carried out to replace hip and knee joints. It involves involves replacing a damaged, worn or diseased joint withan artificial joint made of special plastics and metal.
For most people, a replacement knee will last for at least 15 to 20 years, especially if the new knee is cared for properly and not put under too much strain.
There are two main types of surgery, depending on the severity of arthritis:
• total knee / hip replacement – both sides of your knee / hip joint are replaced
• partial (half) knee replacement (PKR) – only one side of your knee joints replaced in a smaller operation where more of the undamaged knee is preserved with a shorter hospital stay and recovery period.
Other surgical options for arthritis
Arthrodesis or Joint fusion
If hip or knee replacement is not suitable, especially in young people who do heavy manual work, one can consider an operation known as an arthrodesis, which fuses your joint in a permanent position. This means that your joint will be stronger and much less painful, although you will no longer be able to move it.
In young, active people in whom a knee joint replacement would fail due to excessive use one can consider an operation called an osteotomy. This involves adding or removing a small section of bone either above or below your knee joint. This helps realign your knee so your weight is no longer focused on the damaged part of your knee. An osteotomy can relieve your symptoms of osteoarthritis, although you may still need knee replacement surgery eventually as you grow old.