What is Osteoarthritis of the knee?
Facts about Arthritis Knee Pain
- It is estimated that 45% of Americans will develop osteoarthritis of the knee according to a study in the Journal of Arthritis Care & Research1
- Close to 70 million Americans have arthritis knee pain, and over 20 million suffer with osteoarthritis knee pain.
- Osteoarthritis knee pain is 3X more likely to affect woman then men, and it occurs more often in people over the age of 50.
- Younger people may be affected by Osteoarthritis knee pain if they have been injured in a car accident or suffered a sports injury.2,3
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is often referred to as OA and is the most common cause of knee pain and stiffness. OA is known as a ‘wear and tear disease’ because the cartilage, which is the cushion between the two bones that make up the knee joint starts to wear down. Cartilage is important because it lubricates, supports, and protects the two bones in the knee from rubbing together.
Stages of Osteoarthritis Knee Pain
There are different stages of osteoarthritis knee pain. A doctor may describe arthritis as mild, moderate or severe or they may Grade it from a 1 through 4. A Grade of 1 describes mild arthritic changes and a Grade of 4 is the most severe or it is often described as ‘bone on bone’.
An important point is that there is no connection between the pain that you’re experiencing in the knee and the stage of arthritis you’re diagnosed with. You may have no pain but have a diagnosis of ‘bone on bone’. On the other hand you may have severe pain and be diagnosed with a Grade 1 or mild arthritis in the knee. Unfortunately, more often than not patients are told their knee is ‘bone on bone’ when it is actually a Grade 2 or 3.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis Knee Pain:
Here is a list of some of the most common symptoms associated with arthritis knee pain.
- Stiffness or knee pain when you first get out of bed in the morning.
- Discomfort if you keep your knee is in one position for too long (for example driving).
- If you’re in the beginning stages of arthritis the stiffness/pain with osteoarthritis will usually start to dissipate with movement. However, as your knee starts to lose more cartilage or gets more severe activity will make it feel worse.
- You may even suffer with night -time pain, and have to sleep with a pillow between your knees so they do not touch.
- If you suffer with arthritis knee pain you may have a difficult time going up and down stairs or down curbs. Typically you may even have a hard time getting out of a chair without having to use your arms to push yourself up from a chair.
- There’s often fluid accumulation or swelling and inflammation that may develop around your knee.
- You may also hear creaking or popping noises in your knee.
- As your knee pain worsens you may tend to gain weight because you can’t walk or exercise without your knees bothering you. Unfortunately, this weight gain makes it harder on your knees, and your knee pain may get worse.
There are several factors that put an individual at higher risk for developing arthritis knee pain.
- Age – osteoarthritis is more common after the age of 45. You are more likely to develop arthritis as you get older.
- Obesity – extra weight puts unnecessary stress on the knees.
- Gender – Arthritis knee pain is more common in women then men.
- Genetics – Heredity affects the shape, size, and stability of your joints and muscles.
- Overuse or Injury – Previous knee injuries or activities can affect the knee. If your job requires you to do a lot of standing, kneeling, crawling, or walking this could affect your knees and place you at higher risk for knee problems later in life.
- Arthroscopic surgery in a study published in Arthritis and Rheumatism suggests that arthroscopic surgery might actually contribute to more cartilage degeneration and arthritic changes in the knee.4
Osteoarthritis Treatment Options:
There isn’t a cure for arthritis. However, there are several options that patients have to reduce, manage or eliminate the pain.
Over-the-Counter or Prescription Pain Medications – These may temporarily relieve the pain and swelling in the knees. Unfortunately, there are side effects to medications, so this is not a long term solution to knee pain.
Steroid Injections or Viscosupplements – This is used to help reduce inflammation and pain in the knee. Viscosupplements are also used to help with lubrication of the knee joint. Unfortunately, these options temporarily mask the symptoms, have side-effects, and do not address the muscle weaknesses around the knee joint.
Arthroscopic Surgery – This is where a surgeon makes incisions into the knee joint and shaves, smoothes or scrapes worn down cartilage. The surgeon is often removing cartilage, the very thing (if you have arthritis) that you already don’t have enough of.
The New England Journal of Medicine reported on the results of a randomized, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of arthroscopy for osteoarthritis of the knee. It was concluded that patients who underwent the surgery were no better off than those who underwent the placebo (fake surgery) procedure.5
Many orthopedic surgeons including Dr. Kenneth Fine, an orthopedic surgeon at the George Washington University School of Medicine, said the procedure had long seemed to do nothing for patients with underlying arthritis.6
Performing arthroscopic surgery for patients who have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis is becoming less popular especially since research is proving it to be ineffective for arthritis.
Knee Replacement – This is when an orthopedic surgeon replaces the diseased knee with an artificial implant. Risks include infection, blood clots, loosening of the implant, and pneumonia. A knee replacement should be the very last option, and should only be considered if all other treatments have not provided relief.
Dr. Schnee’s Cold Laser Knee Program in Dallas-Fort Worth – This program is for those seeking a safe, effective, non-invasive, painless solution for knee pain. Dr. Schnee’s program utilizes multiple FDA Cleared (true) Cold Lasers, and combines them with other therapies to help reduce the pain, strengthen the muscles around the knee joint, increase range of motion, and reduce inflammation/swelling, which helps improve overall function of the knee.
Why Choose Dr. Schnee’s Cold Laser Knee Program?
The reason patients travel to Dallas-Fort Worth from around the world to undergo Dr. Schnee’s Cold Laser Knee Program is due to her extensive knowledge and experience in treating knee problems using non-invasive Cold Laser Therapy to help avoid surgery. Her office has performed over 25,000 Cold Laser treatments (and counting) for people suffering from various knee conditions. Patients and doctors seek her advice and care if they want to avoid knee surgery or if their knee surgery was unsuccessful. She has treated patients suffering from mild to severe arthritis, bursitis, Baker’s cyst, meniscal tears, tendonitis, chondromalacia patella, failed arthroscopic surgery or knee replacement surgery, and the list goes on.
In 2001, Dr. Alexandra Schnee graduated Summa Cum Laude and was Valedictorian of her class from Parker College of Chiropractic. She is certified by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and Texas Board pf Chiropractic Examiners. In addition, she has a Bachelors of Science in Anatomy. Moreover, in 2007 due to Dr. Schnee’s experience in treating knee pain with cold lasers she was invited to join the renowned Medical Advisory Board for ML830 Cold Lasers. In addition, she is a member of NAALT (North American Association of Laser Therapy) and WALT (World Association of Laser Therapy). She is a published and peer reviewed author on the topic of Cold Laser Therapy. In April 2009 she was chosen as Doctor of the Month on Spine-health.com for her work with Cold lasers. In the Fall of 2011, she will be presenting her research study about the benefits of her Cold Laser Therapy treatment protocols for patients suffering from osteoarthritis knee pain in the medial compartment of the knee, at the yearly NAALT conference in Wisconsin.
- Nearly Half in US Will Develop Knee Arthritis. Reuters 2008-09-03 21:09:08
- Arthritis Foundation, http//www.arthritis.org/resources/getting started/default.asp
- CDC. Prevalence of self-reported arthritis or chronic joint syndromes among adults-United States, 2001. MMWR 2002; 51(42); 948-950.
- Kolata, G. Arthritis Surgery in Ailing Knees is Cited as Sham. New York Times. July 11, 2002: Al.
- Moseley JB, O’Malley, Peterson NJ, et al. A Controlled Trial of Arthroscopic Surgery for Osteoarthritis of the Knee. New England Journal of Medicine. 347(2):7/11/02: 81-88.
- Hammer, Warren. Surgery for Osteoarthritis of the Knee Proven Worthless. Dynamic Chiropractic. 9/1/2002: Al.
Osteoarthritis Knee Pain, Osteoarthritis Knee Pain Treatment, How to Best Treat Osteoarthritis Knee Pain Without Knee Surgery or Knee Injections Using Cold Laser Therapy Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.