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Treating an Athlete’s Knee Arthritis: Advice from a Knee Doctor Near Ramsey

Rocco Bassora, M.D. February 5th, 2019

Six Arthritis Management Tips from a Knee Specialist

Have you recently received a diagnosis of arthritis in your knees? Are you wondering how this condition will impact your sports life as well as your daily activities?

You are not alone. Arthritis is a common condition, and there are over 100 forms that can impact the knees. While arthritis is a chronic disease that cannot be cured, there are multiple, non-surgical ways to reduce pain and inflammation. For recommendations on how to treat your case of knee arthritis, talk to a Rothman Orthopaedic Institute knee doctor near Ramsey.

Three Main Types of Knee Arthritis

Arthritis is generally categorized by inflammation in one or multiple joints. In order to understand how to treat knee arthritis, it helps to recognize what makes each type of arthritis unique. Below are the three main types of this condition that patients may develop in their knee joints.

  1. Osteoarthritis. Also referred to as a degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis typically impacts people ages 50 and older. This condition occurs when the cartilage of one or multiple joints wears away, eventually resulting in exposed bones rubbing painfully against one another.

  2. Rheumatoid arthritis. This form of arthritis differs from osteoarthritis because it is an autoimmune disease. These diseases cause your immune system to attack itself. With rheumatoid arthritis, healthy tissues that make up your knee cartilage and ligaments become damaged. As a result, the joint swells and causes stiffness and pain.

  3. Posttraumatic arthritis. This condition may impact athletes after a severe sports injury. Posttraumatic arthritis commonly develops after the occurrence of a fracture damages the joint surface, or after a meniscal tear or ligament injury causes joint instability.

Treatment Options for Knee Arthritis Near Ramsey

With a condition as frustrating to deal with as arthritis, you should seek the expertise of an experienced knee specialist. The doctors at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute typically recommend a combination of the following treatment methods to manage knee arthritis and alleviate pain.

  • Physical therapy: Your knee doctor may recommend attending physical therapy for specific exercise recommendations. A physical therapist can help you safely strengthen the muscles surrounding your knee and increase your range of motion.

  • Other forms of exercise: Although you should avoid activities that cause pain, a knee specialist will recommend the incorporation of low-impact exercises. Moving your affected joints keep them from growing stiffer and build supporting muscle strength. Some low-impact activities include cycling and swimming, which do not put a lot of pressure on the knees. This may mean taking a break from playing your high-impact sport. However, you can potentially build up enough knee strength to eventually return to your sport in time.

  • Weight loss: Research indicates that patients who were originally overweight experience reduced feelings of arthritis pain after losing weight.

  • Assistive devices: These devices can provide support by reducing the pressure you place on your knees when you walk. Assistive devices include a cane, brace, or knee sleeve.

  • Ice and heat therapy: Ice and heat packs/hot towels each have benefits that apply to joint pain and inflammation. Ask your knee doctor about how you should alternate daily.

  • Cartilage restoration: In cases of severe cartilage damage, cartilage restoration may be recommended. This procedure involves the resurfacing, realignment, and stabilization of the knee. This option is popular among athletes who do not want to be slowed down by a knee replacement.

If you are an athlete who has knee arthritis, do not worry. The Sports Medicine knee specialists at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute are available to evaluate your condition and provide care. The physicians and surgeons at our practice understand that each patient’s case is unique. As a result, we create individualized knee arthritis management plans with personal benefits. We are experts in the field who utilize the latest technology to diagnose conditions and treat diseases. In other words, you can trust us to get you back to your peak activity level.

To learn more about knee arthritis, or to schedule an appointment with one of our Sports Medicine knee doctors near Ramsey, please visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.

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