Osteoarthritis of the knee and knee pain
Osteoarthritis is a very common condition in the knee. It is due to "wear and tear" of the cartilage in the joint surfaces. It is the most frequent cause of knee pain in a middle aged or elderly person. Early symptoms include morning stiffness and pain that is associated with walking and stair climbing. Some patients also have a reduced ability to bend the knee and may find that there is an increasing deformity or bow-legged appearance in the knees.
Initial treatment should be non surgical. This includes weight loss, use of a walking stick and anti-inflammatory medications. Some people find taking glucosamine useful. In selected cases, an injection of "lubricants" into the joint can help to relief the pain in the short to medium term.
Occasionally, if the pain is deemed to be due to loose or unstable cartilage, knee arthroscopy can help.
In advanced cases, a re-alignment surgery or joint replacement surgery might be needed. Re-alignment surgery (or osteotomy) can preserve your own joint while replacement surgery (arthroplasty) substitutes your joint with an artificial one. Naturally you will have to be more careful with an artificial joint than if your own joint is preserved.
The picture above shows an osteoarthritic knee before surgery and after a knee replacement. The bow-legged deformity has been corrected and the damaged joint surfaces replaced. In my personal experience, knee replacement surgery has very high patient satisfaction.

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