Knee Arthritis – What Is It and How Do You Treat It?

Knee Arthritis – What Is It and How Do You Treat It?


(easy listening music) – Hi, it’s Dr. Martin. I wanted to spend a few
minutes with you this morning before I run off to surgery to discuss a little bit
about knee arthritis. What I wanted to do is maybe
even tell you a few things that might help you avoid me, not that I’m a bad
guy or anything. I just really have a genuine
interest in helping people avoid knee surgery. I know it’s strange
because I’m in scrubs and I’m off to surgery but there’s definitely some
simple things that can be done. The first thing that I really
like to tell people is, educate yourselves. That’s what I’m going to talk
to you about this morning is knee arthritis, and tell you everything
that you need to know. In order to understand
what knee arthritis is, first you have to understand
what a normal knee looks like. And a normal knee has this
spongy, shiny material called cartilage in it, and that’s like the
cushion in our knee that allows us to walk
and move and run and jump without pain. There’s also lots of
other important structures around the knee, the
meniscus and the ligaments and the tendons and
the strong muscles which surround the knee. There’s nerves,
there’s blood vessels, there’s a lot going
on in the knee and therefore there’s a
lot that can go wrong. When you look at arthritis,
there’s two types: there’s Osteoarthritis, which
is a very mechanical condition and then there’s something
called Inflammatory Arthritis and that’s where something’s
gone terribly wrong in the body, where the body’s
actually attacking the joint. That’s more serious but,
fortunately, more rare and that includes conditions
like rheumatoid arthritis or gout, psoriatic arthritis
and a bunch of other things. The main thing I want to
focus on is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis of the
knee is extremely common, even on our CDC’s website, they pose a study which shows that approximately
one out of every two of us will develop symptomatic
knee arthritis at some point in our life. What I like to
call Osteoarthritis is Degenerative Joint Disease and I think this is
a more broad term and it really
applies to the knee because it’s not only the
cartilage that can go bad, it’s all the structures around and that’s what
I’m gonna show you. See, I believe there’s
something called a Final Common Pathway, and what that means is despite what’s going
on inside the knee, it’s all part of the
degenerative joint process. There’s meniscal
tears that can occur, there’s Baker’s cysts
and popliteal cysts, there’s runner’s knee, what’s called Patellofemoral
Pain Syndrome. There’s rheumatoid and
inflammatory arthritis can also lead to secondary
degeneration in the knee. ACL tears can lead
to instability and cause the knee to wear. You can have accidents or
injuries around the knee which can happen over time, which can injure the knee on
a little tiny basis each time or sometimes if
there’s a bad trauma, it can realign the knee
and cause excess stress and lead to degeneration. Obesity can lead to knee pain by putting increased
pressure on the joint. Not being in good shape,
having weak muscles can lead to increased
stress on the joint, causing pain and
further degeneration. If you’re not eating properly or you’re not
drinking enough water, that can exacerbate things and even mental states like
being depressed or anxious can lead to a sensation of
increased pain or symptoms resulting from underlying
knee arthritis. The take home point is that
all these different factors can contribute to knee arthritis
and how it affects you. How does it affect people? Well, people feel pain, they can feel stiffness,
their knee can get swollen but what all this culminates in is that it affects
peoples’ quality of lives, their ability to function,
to perform their activities of daily living and do the things that
they want or need to do. In essence, what happens is it creates an unhappy knee and we like happy knees. Why is surgery not
always the answer? Well, I’ve been telling my
patients this for a while, you can’t, at this time put back what’s been lost. We don’t know how
to regrow cartilage to any large degree or to really regrow meniscus
or ligaments or tendons. So when you go in there and
do arthroscopic surgery, what we know is it really
doesn’t help any better than non-operative measures, that’s been shown in
numerous studies now. I usually urge
people to use surgery as a last resort and there’s a lot that
can be done ahead of time to improve the way you
feel without surgery and that includes a
multi-modal approach. What this means is you can incorporate a powerful
combination of education, meaning learning everything
about your condition so you can improve it, nutrition, meaning
learning what to eat, what not to eat,
weight management and what supplements work and
what supplements don’t work to help your condition. Fitness, meaning learning the
appropriate exercises so you can strengthen the
muscles around the knee and improve your
overall well being so your knees can feel better. And then support, meaning learning the appropriate
but safe things to do to help you when you’re
not feeling so great and that can allow you
to go on with your life. This powerful four-part system can really lead to
an improvement of
your quality of life despite what’s going
on inside the knee and that’s really what I
wanted to share with you this morning, and I hope you have a great day.

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