X-ray of Narrowed Medial Compartment

X-ray of the knee showing loss of joint space in the inner/medial aspect of knee with normal outer/lateral compartment

Osteoarthritis of the Knee / Wear and Tear

Arthritis usually occurs over months and years. This process is called wear and tear or degenerative osteoarthritis. With trauma to the knee, it is possible to damage focal areas within the knee joint - this is called traumatic osteoarthritis. Both processes are associated with pain and swelling in the knee and cause difficulty with activities of day to day living such as : walking, stair climbing, bending, squatting and kneeling. The knee may also feel unstable and give way. There may be locking or catching and loss of the normal smooth movement of the knee, as individuals try to bend and straighten the knee. As the symptoms progress walking becomes increasingly more difficult and night symptoms may develop.

The treatment options depend on a number of factors including the severity of the patient's symptoms, their level of activity as well as the degree of wear and tear within the knee. If one compartment of the knee is affected in isolation this opens up several treatment options that are not available if the damage is more widespread. Some patients will settle down with a combination of physiotherapy, lifestyle modification and appropriate pain killers. Injections into the knee with steroid, glucosamine sulphate or ACP ( autologous conditioned platelets ) can also play a role in helping to settle down symptoms. If these non-surgical measures do not settle the symptoms down, then surgery may be required. A number of surgical options are available including re-alignment surgery ( osteotomy ) and knee replacement operation, including partial and total knee replacement operation

Normal Lateral Knee X-Ray
X-ray of Normal Lateral Knee

Normal Lateral Knee X-Ray



Inflammatory arthritis

This is another type of arthritis, and includes a whole host of different conditions including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis and others. The symptoms are similar as are the treatment options. This is a much rarer form of arthritis than from simple wear and tear (degenerative osteoarthritis).

Orthopaedic consultation
Key-hole  knee surgery
Mr Wilson carrying out knee arthroscopy surgery
Anaesthetist - Dr Nick J looking over the drapes
Scrub team before ACL surgery
Mr Wilson examining a patient's knee