Medical Questions » Arthritis Questions » Question No. 85
Question:I have been told that my kneecap is arthritic. I do not want to be an invalid in old age. What treatments are available?
Answer:The kneecap is designed to allow the tendons from the Iatge muscles on the front of the thigh to slide smoothly over the front of the knee and insert into the top of the lower leg (tibia). Every time you bend your knee, the kneecap glides over the end of the thigh bone (femur). If the under surface of the kneecap (patella) is roughened by arthritis, the smooth movement does not occut, friction builds up and pain results. This is arthritis of the kneecap, and can be caused by injury, stress, chronic overuse, infection and an inbuilt tendency to arthritis. Treatment involves physiotherapy to mobilise the knee as much as possible, anti-inflammatory tablets prescribed by your doctor, steroid injections into the joint, and surgery. The injections are very successful, but cannot be repeated too often. Surgery can be used to remove the kneecap completely or to replace the smooth surface of the kneecap with an artificial one. The treatment used will be determined by the degree of discomfort you suffer. There should be no reason why this will cause any permanent disability.
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