Knee conditions normally involve disease or injury that can disturb the normal functioning of the joint. This can result in knee pain, weakness, instability, and limited movement. With longer life expectancy and greater activity levels, joint replacement is being performed in greater numbers on patients thanks to new advances in artificial joint technology provided by Dr. Justin M. LaReau at Hinsdale Orthopaedics.
Why Dr. Justin M. LaReau?
Dr. LaReau is one of the nation’s top joint replacement surgeons, providing superior knowledge and expertise in the area of knee conditions.
How Do I Know If Joint Replacement Is Right For Me?
When joint pain is severe and interferes with daily activities and work, joint replacement may be an option. The pain you experience from arthritis and joint degeneration can:
- Be constant or it can come and go
- Occur when you are moving or motionless for some time
- Be located in one spot or in many parts of your body
Knee pain and the stiffness of joint degeneration may be worse during certain times of the day, or after certain activities such as:
- Climbing stairs
- Getting in and out of a chair
Individuals with arthritis may even feel uncomfortable or have pain while resting or sitting in a chair or lying down. They may be uncomfortable at night, and the pain may wake them up.
The pain of joint degeneration can limit many everyday activities, such as:
- Going up and down stairs
- Getting in and out of a car
- Getting dressed
- Sexual activities
Joint degeneration can eventually make it extremely difficult for individuals to work and enjoy themselves. It also can make it difficult for individuals to care for themselves.
How does the knee work?
The knee joint functions like a hinge at the junction of two bones, the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin.) The ends of the bones are covered with a thick cushion of hard, white cartilage. You are given only one coating of this cartilage in your lifetime. If it is damaged or worn away, the underlying bones rub together, producing knee pain and inflammation typical of arthritis.
Tips for Healthy Joints
- One of the best ways to avoid or reduce joint discomfort is to lose excess body weight. Less weight equals less stress on your joints.
- Be sure to get adequate amounts of vitamin C and calcium. Vitamin C is necessary to for the formation of collagen that supports joint tissue. Calcium helps build strong bones, which reduces stress on joints.
- Stretching and strengthening activities can help maintain your range of motion, build muscle and promote flexibility. Some activities to consider include gardening, walking, bicycling and swimming. Talk with your physician about which exercises are right for you.
- Keep moving. Sitting or standing all day can cause joint stiffness. When possible, alternate between these two positions, ideally every 30 minutes.
- Remember to warm up and cool down every time you exercise to prevent injury and promote flexibility.
- Exercise in groups. It’s motivating, it’s social, and it builds self-esteem as you accomplish your goals together.
- If you’re having a hard time staying motivated to exercise regularly, consider adding music to your routine. Purchase a portable music player and bring along the tunes while you walk, jog, etc.
Links to Societies
American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (http://www.aahks.org) – Established in 1991, the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) is committed to its mission of providing educational opportunities to its members. For the past several years, Annual Fall meetings have addressed an increasingly broad array of scientific topics, such as implant design, results, surgical techniques and complications of primary and revision TJA, as well as the latest information available on socioeconomic issues affecting the specialty.