“From the Head, Shoulders, KNEES……” – Osteoarthritis of the knee

Posted on 2nd Aug 2022 at 2:24pm

In this submission Amie provides an insight into Osteoarthritis of the knee.

  • The Knee is tricompartmental – articulation between the thigh bone (femur), shin bone (tibia) and kneecap (patella).
  • Articulating surfaces of the femur and tibia are covered by cartilage which forms a smooth surface. The joint capsule and ligaments maintain stability.
  • Articular cartilage reduces friction and protects the bones from mechanical stress. It also acts as a shock absorber.
  • Osteoarthritis (OA) is a slowly progressive, degenerative (wear and tear) disease of the knee joint. The articular cartilage which acts as a “buffer” breaks down causing pain and stiffness.
  • Physiotherapy intervention focuses on:
    • Advice and education – activity modification and pacing to control the symptoms better and improve quality of life
    • Exercise – may be strengthening, proprioceptive and/or aerobic. Benefits include pain modulating (endorphins)/neuromuscular (muscle recruitment and control)/psychological (confidence and control)/adjunct to weight management/improve general fitness and ability. Pick the right exercise to achieve muscle recruitment without inhibition due to pain
    • Adjunctive treatment – biomechanical adaptation (taping/bracing/orthotics)/pain modification to permit exercise (electrotherapy/acupuncture)
    • Exercise in combination with hands on physiotherapy