When it comes to our knees, even a little problem can be concerning.
Crippling discomfort along with increasingly limited range of motion is symptomatic of degenerative knee cartilage. Also called osteoarthritis, this condition is indicated by the wearing away of the cartilage in the knee, which could be caused by old age, excessive repetitive movements, or excessive pressure.
What is cartilage?
What role does it play?
Each surface of our bones at the knee joint is typically covered with cartilage. The cartilage is smooth and slippery, allowing for proper movement within the knee, which enables a person to flex their leg without feeling pain. The elasticity allows of the cartilage to act as a shock absorber, preventing severe damage if and when there is any impact to the knees.
When this knee cartilage breaks down the cushioning effect is lost. When this happens the bones in the joint can grate against each other during any movement, causing excruciating pain.
Cartilage typically undergoes a natural rate of degeneration as the individual gets older. In effect, after a certain age, every person will experience some degree of degenerative knee cartilage; the only difference being in the severity of the condition and the impact it has on the individual's mobility.
What are the Treatment Options for Degenerative Knee Cartilage?
Although typically osteoarthritis takes time to build up, it can eventually lead to the breakdown of all the cartilage in the knee. At its most severe, the only solution to the problem is surgery and radical reconstruction. Typically, this is only done when someone has no other options, however. The procedure is not risk-free and the patient may not regain anything close to the full range of motion the used to have at the joint.
For mild to moderate cases, however, there are several forms of less-invasive treatment that have proven effective for many individuals. Drug therapy using anti-inflammatory drugs have proven to be quite effective at reducing pain levels. Glucosamine and chondroitin have also proven to be quite effective at promoting regeneration of knee cartilage to some extent. (When using these treatment options you should always speak with your physician.)
The symptoms of degenerative cartilage can be very effectively managed using knee braces as a physical form of treatment. A knee support should fit snuggly around the knee to help provide you with meaningful support that can really help to reduce knee discomfort. They can also help your knee maintain proper alignment.
What is the Prognosis for Degenerative Cartilage?
While degenerative knee cartilage is a progressive and incurable condition to have, the good news is it can be managed. If it is detected early enough, effective measures can be taken to prevent the condition from deteriorating even further and out of control. A brace worn over the knee will do much to hold the knee in place preventing inadvertent movement, which could cause further pain. In addition to being easily available and relatively inexpensive, knee supports are a great way to take your stability to the next level and to treat your symptoms conservatively.
If you would like to learn more about ways to decrease your knee pain, and to get the support your knees need, visit us online now at http://www.drbraceco.com. We can provide you with more educational material about your knee and knee braces, to help you make the best decisions.
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Dr. Brace Company educates people about various injuries, and helps them to make a decision on what kind of brace to get to help provide them with the support they need.