Osteoarthritis (OA), also known as wear and tear arthritis, frequently degrades the weight-bearing joints, such as the hip, knee, ankle, etc. If you are experiencing the pain, stiffness, and balance issues associated with knee OA, you need sensible ways to slow its progress.
Let’s talk about osteoarthritis, its causes and treatment options, and where you can go in FL for advanced orthopedic care.
What Are the Risk Factors for Knee Osteoarthritis?
Knee osteoarthritis is a slow but progressive degradation of the protective cartilage in the knee. This cartilage covers the bone ends of the upper and lower leg bones. It also includes two C-shaped menisci between the thigh and shin bone.
In other words, age seems to play a vital role in developing any kind of OA. Other risk factors include:
- Being a woman, particularly after menopause when estrogen levels diminish
- Genetics (the disease appears to run in families)
- Having OA in multiple locations, such as the hand, ankle, and hip
- Sustaining a sports or traumatic injury to the knee joint
- Overuse as in repeated squatting, lifting, running, or pivoting
- Increased blood sugar levels
- Being sedentary
- Wearing poorly supportive footwear, such as flip-flops
Over time, pain, swelling, stiffness, and poor range of motion usually increase.
Can You Stop the Progress of Knee OA?
While experts agree that osteoarthritis cannot be totally cured, people can limit its progression with the help of an orthopedic surgeon. When you consult a knee doctor in Fort Lauderdale about knee osteoarthritis, you will undergo an in-office exam and imaging tests, such as X-rays or an MRI. After reviewing these results, your symptoms, and your medical history, the doctor can offer osteoarthritis knee treatments to limit the damage and help you ambulate and feel better. Surgery, such as knee arthroplasty (joint replacement), is reserved for severe cases.
Here’s how you may slow the progression of knee OA.
A proper body weight reduces stress on the knees and, therefore, the wearing away of the articular cartilage. Staying trim also controls blood sugar levels, keeping cartilage well-lubricated, less inflamed, and healthier.
Stop Sitting Around.
Not only do sedentary habits pack on body weight, but they also decrease the natural lubrication in the knee joints. So, knee doctors and primary care physicians recommend light aerobic exercise–at least 150 minutes per week–in the form of cycling, swimming, or walking. Be sure to protect your knees with bracing, as needed, or use a cane on uneven surfaces to assist balance and weight-bearing.
A stressful lifestyle and/or mindset increases cortisol levels in the blood. These, in turn, make joints more inflamed and stiffer. So, learn to relax, pray, meditate, and enjoy a favorite hobby. As you age, these practices will benefit all your joints, including your knees.
Consume a Nutritious Diet.
That includes several glasses of water a day and a diet rich in foods that suppress joint inflammation. These foods include:
- Fruits and vegetables (antioxidants)
- Healthy fats and oils, including extra virgin olive oil
- Low-fat dairy items high in calcium and vitamin D
Conversely, avoid high fructose corn syrup, processed foods, red meat, and white sugar, as these appear to increase inflammation, body weight, and blood glucose levels.
What Innovative Knee Osteoarthritis Treatments Are Available in Fort Lauderdale, FL?
At Paul Meli Orthopedics, our experienced team assists many Fort Lauderdale, FL, patients in controlling their OA. Also, Dr. Paul Meli, our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, performs many non-operative and surgical procedures to help people regain mobility and independence and eliminate or manage pain and joint wear and tear.
These innovative treatments include joint replacement procedures, ACL reconstruction, stem cell therapy, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, and viscosupplementation (exclusively for the knee). See what may help you by calling for an in-person consultation with Dr. Meli: (954) 324-7711, or request an evaluation by filling out our online form.