Nuffield Health: is knee pain
holding you back?

We all know that keeping active is one of the key ingredients to living a healthy life, but when knee pain interferes
with normal activity and prevents exercise, it is time to act and seek medical help.

A visit to an orthopaedic surgeon can help you get a diagnosis and treatment. The surgeon will determine if the pain is caused through injury or a more long-term issue, such as osteoarthritis. When people talk about knee arthritis, it is usually osteoarthritis to which they are referring, characterised by inflammation and ‘wear and tear’ damage to the knee. It develops over time, and can sneak up on you, but when symptoms first appear, much of the damage has already been done.
­­­­The process of damage and wearing out of the joint cartilage surface eventually results in the bone grinding on bone in the knee, which is a painful and disabling condition, and up to 25% of people with knee arthritis will retire early due to the pain it causes. There are several risk factors for osteoarthritis, including your genes, lifestyle factors, previous injuries, hypermobility and obesity.

Symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.
The predominant symptoms of knee arthritis are pain and stiffness, which lead to a loss of mobility. Symptoms range from mild to severe. There can be a mild background ache in the knee, which might interfere with sporting activities or a long walk. In more severe cases,
it can be a constant disabling pain, which makes walking very difficult or impossible, and sleep can also be disturbed.
Roughening and fragmentation of the knee joint surface may also lead to catching, clicking, clunking or similar symptoms. Swelling of the knee joint is often seen, and in the worst cases, loss of mobility can lead to poor cardio-respiratory fitness.

Treatment for knee osteoarthritis
Following a diagnosis of arthritis, you may receive some form of treatment before you see a surgeon. Non-surgical treatments may include simple painkillers, anti-inflammatory tablets, weight loss treatments, modification of activities, or physiotherapy.
If there are symptoms of mechanical locking in the knee, or stiffness, then keyhole surgery (arthroscopy) of the knee may improve this. However, knee arthroscopy treatment cannot reverse the arthritis damage.
There are also less invasive, non-surgical options available, such as injection therapy, which can prove beneficial in managing joint pain and delaying the need for surgery. Steroid injections are one example of this, as is Platelet Rich Plasma treatment (PRP), which uses a patient’s own anti-inflammatory cells to promote the healing of injured joints.
If the arthritis pain is severe, you may decide to proceed with a knee replacement. Knee replacement surgery has evolved, with innovative, state-of-the-art robotic-arm technology now available to assist the surgeon with the procedure. This brings a range of enhanced benefits for the patient, including even greater surgical precision, which in turn leads
to decreased post-operative pain, and faster recovery. Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital is currently the ONLY hospital in the city to offer robotic-arm assisted knee replacement surgery, highlighting Nuffield Health’s commitment to providing our patients with the best possible treatment. The decision to proceed is made with your surgeon, so that you fully understand the benefits and risks of each procedure.

Some of the treatments offered for arthritis by Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital:
• Physiotherapy
• Steroid injections
• PRP Injections
• Weight loss therapies
• Knee replacements

Joint Pain Programme
Nuffield Health also offers a free-to-access Joint Pain Programme at its two Bristol Fitness and Wellbeing Centres, in Clifton and Stoke Gifford. The six-month programme is designed to help you self-manage your chronic joint pain and lead a more independent life by incorporating lifestyle advice, health checks, low-impact exercise sessions and support from a trained Rehabilitation Specialist. You don’t have to be a Nuffield Health gym member to join the programme – it’s free and open to anyone living with joint pain. The Joint Pain Programme has helped over 11,000 people across the UK since it launched, and those who’ve completed it have shown improvements in mobility, pain, general fitness levels and overall quality of life. To find out more, including how to apply, search “joint pain programme” on the Nuffield Health website.
It doesn’t matter if you want to climb a mountain or simply tidy the garden, any symptom that prevents or limits your ability to do the things you love is cause for concern. With a little help, a bad knee doesn’t have to impact your quality of life.

For more information or to book an appointment, please call 0117 911 6062. You can also book online, Click here to visit the Nuffield Health Bristol website. Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital,
3 Clifton Hill, Bristol BS8 1BN