Advances in orthopedic medicine, sports sciences, and physical therapy have allowed for sustained, active lifestyles that only keep us healthier and heartier as we swim, bike, volley and swing our way into retirement. In particular, there has never been a better time for knees.
Keeping your knees healthy begins with maintaining motion and strength through regular exercise. The catch-22, however, is that the more we exercise, the more wear and tear builds up, leading to arthritis.
Stiffness and soreness begin to show up in the knees just about the time your children begin to outplay you on the tennis court. But take heart! This is an opportunity to a) congratulate your children on their fine achievement, and b) talk to your orthopedist about maintaining knee health for the long-term. In fact, building a relationship with your orthopedist can slow the arthritic process and delay the need for surgery. Seek professional attention and care.
Physical therapy and sensible amounts of anti-inflammatory medicine are the start of any regimen to ensure strong knees through continued sports and exercise. Your orthopedist may recommend occasional injections of steroids to decrease inflammation and maintain movement. The arsenal to protect your knees also includes lubrication injections, non-invasive arthroscopic surgery, or partial knee replacement, leaving total knee replacement as the last resort for repairing damaged knees.
Seeing your orthopedist regularly can keep you one step ahead of meniscal tears, ligament damage and the development of arthritis. The vast majority of individuals who undergo knee surgery return to most sports other than running, but who needs running when you’ve got tennis, golf, skiing or even badminton?
Any long-term regimen for maintaining healthy knees requires an awareness of boundaries. Don’t push yourself too hard. Know that your active lifestyle has only just begun.
As Tennyson so resolutely stated: “to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield,” so too should we approach our active lifestyles—and most surely the health of our knees.
Advice is one thing, but results speak for themselves. Manhattan Orthopedic understands that any long-term plan to keep your knees healthy must be personalized and comprehensive. We not only guide you through the available medical options, we also administer and supervise the process to make sure that you receive the best care possible.