Osteoarthritis is a breakdown of cartilage and the bones of the knee (wear and tear). The bones begin to rub together causing pain, swelling, and loss of motion in the joints. Osteoarthritis has no known cause, but risk factors include age, sex, weight, and heredity. Osteoarthritis usually begins slowly. Overuse usually causes more pain especially with getting in/out of chairs, stair climbing, running, or walking long distances. The knee joint becomes swollen and stiff. In severe cases of osteoarthritis, knee replacement surgery may be necessary.
Physical Therapy Treatment Plan: After careful evaluation by the physical therapist, the first step in treating this condition is to reduce pain/inflammation and prevent knee stiffness.
Treatments will include range of motion exercises, strengthening exercises. Other treatments may include ice/heat, electrical stimulus, and ultrasound/phonophoresis. Your physician may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication or may use injections.
After your initial prescription for physical therapy is completed, your physician and physical therapist will decide if you need to continue physical therapy or if you will be discharged to a home exercise program.
This information is provided as a learning resource for the benefit of our patients. It is NOT INTENDED to replace personal consultation with your medical professionals.