What is Arthritis?

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Arthritis is where the Articular Cartilage (shiny white gristle) lining of the knee joint has worn out causing the bones to rub together. This causes the pain when you walk.


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Arthritis comes in 2 main types:

1. Osteoarthritis

Here the Articular Cartilage lining the knee has worn out with overuse.

Damage or surgery on your Menisci (Cartilages) in the past may make this more likely.

2. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Here the Articular Cartilage lining the knee has been worn away by the inflammation of the rheumatoid in the joint


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Arthritis is usually diagnosed by Mr Lavender listening to your description of the pain and how it limits what you can do. He will then examine your knee.

Mr Lavender will also examine your hip and the nerves and arteries in your feet. If these are not normal they can affect what options are appropriate for you.

An X-ray will confirm the presence of arthritis and give an indication of how bad it is.


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Mr Lavender will discuss the options with you at your consultation, as every patient has unique circumstances and individual needs.

Non operative treatment may involve:

    • Modifying your lifestyle to reduce the stress on the knee.
    • Regular exercise.
    • Reduce your weight if you are overweight.
    • Take regular painkillers.
    • Using a stick in the other hand when walking.
    • Physiotherapy to make sure your leg goes straight.
    • Injections (only in special circumstances).
    • Glucosamine and Chindrin Sulphate tablets if not diabetic.


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Total Knee Replacement

  • This is appropriate for most patients to remove their pain.

Arthroscopy (Scope / Telescope) of the knee

  • This has a limited use in people with early arthritis.

High Tibial Osteotomy

  • This is only appropriate if the arthritis is on the inner (Medial) side of the knee.
  • The leg is broken, realigned and fixed at the same operation.
  • It is used for younger fitter patients.

Unicompartmental (Part) Knee Replacement

  • This is only appropriate if the arthritis is on the inner (Medial) side of the knee.
  • It is used for younger patients who are not doing jumping sports.

Patellofemoral Replacement

  • This is only appropriate if the arthritis is just in the back of the knee cap (Patella) and the patient is relatively young.


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For more information or to gain a better understanding of the condition, download the free PDFs below:

Arthritis Info Sheet

To download the Arthritis (Non Surgical) information sheet, click the link below :

Arthritis Non Surgical Info Sheet

Additional Resources

Arthritis of the Knee – Your Orthopaedic Connection – AAOS

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Spire Hospital

170 Barlow Moor Road


M20 2AF

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