Is your child having difficulty getting in and out of cars, and experiencing knee pain in the morning? He or she may have knee osteoarthritis. Most people associate osteoarthritis with old age, but it can affect young people, too. Knee osteoarthritis can happen due to injury, infection, and hereditary reasons. Other factors such as excess weight and repetitive stress injuries come into play as well.
Osteoarthritis is a medical condition in which the natural cushioning of the knee joints becomes weak, resulting to the knee’s bones rubbing closely together during movement. This leads to pain, swelling, stiffness, and development of bone spurs.
In order to set your child on the way to recovery, it is always best to get an early diagnosis from a San Diego orthopedic doctor. Once your child has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, a treatment plan will be implemented that includes pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and physical therapy. Corticosteroid and hyaluronic acid may also be injected to relieve the pain.
The doctor may also advise your kid to lose weight to reduce the strain on the knee and to incorporate low-impact exercise to strengthen muscles while avoiding the possibility of aggravating the injury. If these conservative treatments do not work, there are surgical options that may be considered to prevent the osteoarthritis from progressing.
Osteotomy is a procedure in which the knee bones are modified to control the damage. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure where the orthopedic surgeon will make an incision and insert a small camera that will repair the damaged parts. Arthroplasty is a last resort and will only be considered on severe cases of osteoarthritis. It involves a total bone replacement in which the bad joint is replaced by a plastic and metal device.