Osteoarthritis of the Knee Joint
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative disease of a joint where the cartilage breaks down to cause increased friction and bone contact in a joint.
The knee is a joint that is commonly affected by OA with 6% of the population over 30 and 12% of the population over 65 suffering from the degenerative disease. OA in the knee will create joint pain, stiffness, swelling and sometimes locking and can have a dramatic affect on the activity levels of sufferers.
Causes of Knee Osteoarthritis
The causes of knee OA can be varied and can all contribute to knee degeneration:
- over use or improper use
- poor biomechanics
- acute injury
- developmental issues
Anatomy of the Knee Joint
The pedorthists and Fitting Experts at Kintec treat knee OA very regularly. To get a better understanding of how we treat this disease, let’s look at the anatomy of the joint. The rounded ends of the femur (the thigh bone) articulate with the flattened surface on top of the tibia (the lower leg bone) to form the knee joint. The patella, or knee cap, glides across the front surface of the femur and is also a common area of irritation in the knee. There are two separate compartments in the knee joint, medial and lateral, and either compartment individually or both compartments simultaneously can be affected by OA.
How to Treat Osteoarthritis of the Knee Joint
At Kintec we will first determine how, or if, your biomechanics are contributing to knee OA or the pain associated with knee OA.
To treat the improper biomechanics and to reduce the pressure and friction in the knee joint a pedorthist or fit expert can fit you with:
- foot wedges
- custom foot orthoses
- proper supportive footwear
- unloading knee bracing
- compressive knee sleeve
Beyond these supportive devices, an expert will also discuss options such as changes in activity, altering the surface you train or exercise on and seeing other medical professionals such as a physiotherapist or chiropractor.
Graham Archer, VP of Pedorthic Services