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Total knee arthroplasty is a surgical procedure done in end stage knee arthritis patients.

PATHOPHYSIOLOGY CAUSES: There are 3 causes of knee arthritis. 1. Osteoarthritis: The most common form that occurs gradually over time and is described as a degenerative disease in which the cartilage in the knee wears away over time. 2. Rheumatoid Knee Arthritis: Can occur at any age and usually effects both knees. It is an inflammatory process that causes damage to the joint cartilage. 3. Post Traumatic Knee Arthritis: Occurs after a traumatic injury and usually develops years after a fracture, meniscus tear, or ligament injury. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Sudden onset of symptoms is rare but may occur. The most common sign/symptom is pain in the knee area. Below is a list of typical signs and symptoms of knee arthritis. - Pain after walking or strenuous activity. - Joint may be stiff or swollen, making it harder to bend the knee. - Most patients report that pain worsens with weather changes. - Feeling of weakness in the knees which often is portrayed as knees locking. TREATMENTS: In severe cases TKA, or total knee arthroplasty is often recommended. Nonsurgical treatment includes lifestyle changes, regular exercise, devices to help with ambulating, and multiple drug options. Different drug regimens are listed below. - aspirin, ibprofeun, and acetaminophen- anti inflammatory - NSAIDS (motrin) anti inflammatory - Corticosteroids injected into the joint powerful anti inflammatory - Glucosamine and Chondritin found in cartilage and may relieve pain Reference: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00212