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What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a form of arthritis distinguished by the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in your joints. A normal knee glides smoothly because cartilage covers the ends of the bones that form the joints. With osteoarthritis, the top layer of cartilage breaks down and wears away, allowing bones under the cartilage to rub together.

What causes OA of the knee?

The root cause of OA is unknown, but multiple factors can influence increase your risk of developing it, including: 
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Family history 
  • A previous knee injury
  • Repetitive strain on your knee
  • Improper joint alignment
  • Being overweight
  • Exercise or sports-generated stress placed on the knee joint

What are the symptoms of OA of the knee?

OA symptoms include:
  • Knee pain or stiffness while standing or walking short distances, climbing up or down stairs, or getting in and out of chairs
  • Pain with activity
  • Joint stiffness after you get out of bed
  • Swelling in one or more areas of your knee
  • A grating sensation or crunching feeling when you use your knee

How is OA of the knee diagnosed?

Your doctor will first review your medical history and symptoms. He or she will observe the natural movement of your knee, evaluate your knee and ankle joint alignment, and check your reflexes, muscle strength, range of motion and stability in the affected knee. Your doctor may order:
  • X-rays
  • MRI scans
  • Blood tests 
  • Joint aspiration (involves using a needle to draw fluid from your joint) 

How is OA treated?

Lifestyle changes to reduce stress on your knees. Additional treatments may include: 
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Over-the-counter pain medications 
  • Topical pain-relieving creams

If your symptoms or pain don’t respond to non-surgical solutions you may be a candidate for surgery. We offer partial knee resurfacing and total knee replacement procedures.

MAKOplasty® partial knee resurfacing is a minimally invasive procedure that may be a better option than total knee replacement if you:
  • Have painful early- to mid-stage OA of the knee
  • It only affects one or two components of the knee 
  • Prefer a less invasive surgery than total knee arthroplasty

To find a doctor and schedule a MAKOplasty appointment, call 888-863-5502.

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