Arthritis means that the cartilage of a joint has begun breaking down over time. The loss of the smooth cartilage surface exposes bone and results in pain, stiffness, and deformity. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD), is the most common form of knee arthritis. It affects greater than 30% of people over the age of 60. Other, less common causes of knee arthritis include conditions such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, or infection.
Osteoarthritis is a non-inflammatory condition that results from a combination of genetic predisposition and a person’s environment, such as work type or history of injury.
All current available treatments for osteoarthritis are aimed at improving a patient’s pain level. Medications are most effective when taken regularly. Injections may provide temporary pain relief with a good response measured in months. As the arthritis progresses, non-surgical options become less effective. Surgical options include Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) and Partial Knee Replacement. Surgery provides the most long-lasting improvements in pain relief and function.