Arthritis Treatment Knee Osteoarthritis As Well As The Epidemic Of Knee Replacements
The most typical style of arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA), impacts more than twenty million Americans. One of the major targets for this disease is the knee.
OA affects articular cartilage, the gristle that caps the ends of long bones. Articular cartilage is a "pudding" that's made up of a matrix of proteoglycans (arrangements of proteins and glycogen molecules.) Additionally, there's a framework of tough collagen fibers. Within this proteoglycan/collagen structure are cells called chondrocytes.
The upkeep of normal cartilage integrity is very dependent upon the metabolic function of all these chondrocytes.
Osteoarthritis of knee is a wear and tear disease of articular cartilage. It arises as a consequence of the shortage of ability of cartilage to keep up with excessive breakdown.
The 1st step that happens in the whole process of OA is an alteration in the matrix. This causes loss of cartilage resiliency. Moreover, proteins that promote inflammation (called inflammatory cytokines) are produced by the joint lining. These cytokines activate destructive enzymes, called proteases which degrade the matrix and result in the chondrocytes to malfunction.
Thus far, the cure for meniscus tear symptoms is mostly symptomatic. Several medicines, called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), analgesics (pain-killers), exercises, physical therapy, and injections are being used to offer palliative relief. Ultimately, though, patients will go on to get knee replacement surgery.
While this operation has typically been reserved for elderly patients, joint replacement surgery is growing at an alarming rate amongst Middle-agers who wish to maintain a particular level of activity.
According to a recent report (Associated Press, Lindsay Tanner), "nearly one in twenty Americans older than fifty has an artificial knee- that's four million individuals!"
The federal Agency for Healthcare analysis and excellent has issued a recent report showing that knee replacements tripled in people ages 45 to 64 between 1997 and 2009. As it's admirable and speaks to the increased activity level in a group of patients that formerly would be sitting in rocking chairs, in another sense, it raises other issues.
This is particularly disturbing since revision surgery (replacement of the replacement) will be required in the future and this is a much more hard and high priced endeavor. Revision surgery takes longer, demands more expertise, is more confusing, and has a greater likelihood of complications.
Definitely , there is a public health issue if people with knee OA are happening to get an operation that will add enormous costs to an already overburdened healthcare system. More in a future article.