Arthritis of the Knee

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Tampa, Saint Petersburg and Clearwater, Fl

 

Arthritis of the knee is a frequent condition that causes patients to seek medical care.  It is a vague generalized term that refers to underlying degeneration of the joint.  The most frequent cause is osteoarthritis or wear and tear arthritis as opposed to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis which can cause extensive joint degeneration as the body’s immune system nearly attacks its own joints.  Arthritis of the knee can occur as the result of an isolated trauma that manifests itself as accelerated wear and tear as a result of this trauma.  Examples include tears of the meniscus, ACL or other joint structures, prior fractures, and surgical intervention such as meniscal repair all lead to an accelerated arthritis in the future.  One of the most frequent conditions treated is injuries to the meniscus.  Years ago, surgery was aimed at removing the entire meniscus or meniscectomy.  This led to the quick onset of arthritis as without the meniscus there is bone on bone which led to rapid deterioration of the joint.  This was replaced by more modern arthroscopic techniques of debridement of the meniscus which basically is more of a trimming procedure to cut out areas of the torn meniscus.  Some cases are amenable to suturing of the meniscus, but often the meniscus is merely debrided which on a long term effect leads to accelerated arthritis as there is more internal area that can be eroded.  Techniques to forestall arthritis in the future such as medications, bracing, and weight loss are all effective strategies but have not prevented the occurrence of arthritis.  The future of medicine is looking towards regenerative medicine techniques to repair the internal structure of the knee and prevent progression of arthritis.  One goal of regenerative procedures would be to be used as an alterative for surgical treatments of the knee and to prevent future knee joint replacement.  Regenerative medicine therapy such as platelet-rich plasma and stem cell therapy had been incorporated into acute injuries as well as chronic problems such as knee joint arthritis.  As in the case of any medical problem, addressing the problem early before severe degeneration has occurred is obviously an easier task when the physician is confronted with this.

Dr. Lox has had many years of treating arthritis conditionstypes of arthritis and most therapies in the past had merely been just symptomatic relief such as anti‑inflammatories and cortisone injections.  Regenerative medicine treatments such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapy are methods of trying to repair, regenerate, and alter the natural course of degeneration that occurs with just simple palliative measures.  Dr. Lox has identified rehabilitation strategies that are effective in assisting in regenerative medicine procedures and each will be tailored for each individual patient as there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for each individual patient.  Obviously, athletes who are participating in high-stressed impact sports to their knees are going to have different requirements from an individual who plays golf once a week versus someone who is barely trying to maintain their functional activities in their home and the essentials of day‑to-day living.  Occupational stressors that imply excessive demands on the knee also need to be identified and strategies that address this can be incorporated.  Ideally, Dr. Lox notes that combining rehabilitation, preventive medicine techniques, as well as regenerative therapy such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapies may assist in altering the natural course of untreated arthritis.  Ignoring knee pain is not a long-term successful strategy in altering the course of arthritis.  A proactive, preventative, and a regenerative approach makes the most sense in trying to live an active and functional life as one ages.

 

Dr. Dennis Lox serves patients in the greater Tampa Bay area, including, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tampa, New Port Richey, Sarasota, and Spring Hill. He has been pleased to accommodate the needs of patients throughout Florida, the United States, the Western Hemisphere, and Europe, as well. Located in the 33765 and 33765 areas, our offices can be reached at (727) 462-5582 (Clearwater) and (727) 817-1909 (New Port Richey). Call to schedule your visit today.