Knee joint osteoarthritis can have a profound affect on a patient’s mobility, quality of life and general health. Early on, symptoms can be well managed with non-operative measures including weight reduction, exercise, the use of simple oral analgesics and mobility aids such as walking sticks and knee guards. Local heat application can be beneficial at night-time if the knee discomfort starts to affect sleep. Steroid injections have very temporary impact on arthritic symptoms and if administered frequently can accelerate the arthritic wear affecting the knee joint. There are a myriad of alternate-type treatments available including glucosamine, chondroitin, fish oil, and joint injections of joint fluid supplements marketed as Synvisc and Durolane, and stem cell therapy joint injections as well. Unfortunately, none of these alternate remedies have any scientifically based evidence which supports their effectiveness.
When the symptoms are severe enough, that is the time to explore surgical options and at South Coast Orthopaedic Clinic a thorough individualised assessment and treatment plan can be put together for you. Ultimately, you may require total knee replacement surgery, which is a very good procedure for restoring mobility, stabilising the knee joint, and alleviating pain. Part of the pre-operative assessment will include CT scan analysis of the whole leg to be operated on in order to individualise positioning of the knee replacement parts in order to maximise pain relief and function. At our clinic, total knee replacement has a 15 -to 20-year survivorship of 95% which is amongst the best in the Australian joint Registry, with an extremely low infection rate of 0.2%. These figures reflect the high level of expertise in total joint replacement surgery that has been amassed at the South Coast Orthopaedic Clinic over a 30 year period, making our surgeons the most experienced in the Shoalhaven District and on the South Coast of NSW.
Re-do total knee replacement (known as revision replacement) can involve part or all the original replacement and this procedure has also been refined over many years and can provide the patient with significant improvement in pain levels, mobility and stability. Our surgeons have appropriate fellowship training to undertake this at times quite complex surgery with excellent outcomes.