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Arthritis and Knee pain

Dr Unnikuttan D, Orthopedic Surgeon of SUT Hospital, Pattom, Trivandrum

Cartilage is a thin, smooth bone shape found in all joints of the human body. The tips of the bones are covered by cartilage which enables our joints to move smoothly. Swelling or tenderness of cartilage causes arthritis. This condition can be caused by various diseases affecting the joints. The most common types of arthritis are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. 

Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage wears down over time with aging. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease which affects the immune system that attacks cartilage. High levels of uric acid in the blood is the main cause of arthritis. Overweight accelerates the wear and tear of the knee joints. Weakness of the muscles near the knee and improper treatment of knee injuries are also reasons for the wear and tear of cartilage. 

Arthritis is of many types and should be treated time bound. X-rays and blood tests can help diagnose the condition. It is important to make sure that the cause of the cartilage loss is not an infection, tumor or injury in the knee. In such cases, treatment should be started immediately.

Severe complications and surgery can be avoided if diagnosed and treated early. Early detection of rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis can be controlled with medication. Long-term treatment of these diseases needs regular blood tests and with controlled medication. Osteoarthritis is generally expressed experienced in old age, the early symptoms start at the age of around 40s. This early wear and tear in cartilages can be controlled by doing exercises prescribed by the doctor. 

Unbearable knee pain can affect routine activities like walking, climbing stairs and getting up quite difficult. Avoiding exercise can also lead to other mental and physical ailments. This is because of the severe wear and tear of cartilage which affects the joints. 

Attempts to regenerate cartilage through medication in degenerative joints have not been completely successful. Joint replacement surgery is a better solution for those who have been suffering from arthritis for a long time.