How is Focal Arthritic Change of the Knee Diagnosed?
Dr. Mazzara will consider the patient’s symptoms and perform a thorough physical exam to check for swollen joints, loss of motion and areas of pain. A patient history, complete with prior injuries and surgeries will help in determining if the patient has arthritis in the knee. Dr. Mazzara can often diagnose arthritic changes of the knee with the use of an x-ray or MRI where changes can be seen in the joint.
How is an Arthritic Change in the Knee Treated?
The exact location of arthritis needs to be assessed when treating arthritic changes in the knee. Knee osteoarthritis on the lower extremity of the femur (thigh bone) is easier to treat than on the top of the femur, where the patella (knee bone) rests, or in the area where the femur and tibia meet. Size of the arthritic lesion is also an important factor, as smaller areas are easier to treat than larger lesions.
Does an Arthritic Change in the Knee Require Surgery?
Patients with mild cases of arthritic change, or osteoarthritis can initially achieve good results by taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs.) Curcumin, a substance in turmeric, may help reduce inflammation. Some studies suggest that it might ease symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, like pain and inflammation. For some patients, Dr. Mazzara can administer a corticosteroid injection to reduce pain and inflammation.
How to Treat Arthritic Changes in the Knee with Surgery
Depending on the patient’s age, area of knee arthritis and anticipated outcome, Dr. Mazzara may suggest a few different surgical options. Some of these include:
- For smaller lesions.
- Osteochondral autograft transplants (OATS): takes healthier cartilage from a lesser weight bearing area of the knee and transfers it to the affected area.
- Osteoarticular allografts: For failed microfracture surgeries and larger lesions.
- Partial knee replacement may be appropriate in certain circumstances. Dr. Mazzara is certified in computer navigated MAKO partial and total knee replacements.
If you have questions about treatment options for focal arthritic change of the knee or osteoarthritis of the knee, please contact the orthopedic offices of Dr. James Mazzara, orthopedic knee specialist in Manchester, South Windsor, Enfield, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford communities.