Tricompartmental osteoarthritis occurs when all three compartments in the knee are affected by arthritis symptoms. Localized pain, inflammation, and weakness in the knee may be symptoms of tricompartmental osteoarthritis.
|Overview | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Causes and risk factors | Treatment | Outlook|
The condition causes degenerative changes in the joint. Because of its widespread nature, tricompartmental osteoarthritis may be more severe than other forms of osteoarthritis.
In this article, we take an in-depth look at tricompartmental osteoarthritis, including the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment for this painful condition.
|What is tricompartmental osteoarthritis?|
|Osteoarthritis, or osteoarthrosis, is the most common condition that affects the joints. According to the Arthritis Foundation, osteoarthritis affects approximately 27 million people in the United States alone.
The condition most commonly affects the knees and is also referred to as wear-and-tear arthritis, as it occurs due to the cartilage in the joints breaking down over time.
This wear-and-tear process is referred to as degenerative changes, and it leads to symptoms that include stiffness, pain, and joint effusion or an increased amount of fluid in the joint.
Four bones meet at the knee. The tibia and fibula connect from below the joint. The femur connects from above, and the patella or kneecap sits just atop the femur and the connecting cartilage.
The meeting of these bones creates the three compartments in the knee:
Osteoarthritis can occur in any of these compartments, but tricompartmental osteoarthritis happens when all three compartments of the knee are affected.
Tricompartmental osteoarthritis is often considered to be worse than other forms of osteoarthritis, as the entire area of the knee is affected and loss of cartilage or the synovium or joint lining may be more widespread.
|Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage and synovium in the knee to wear down, often leading to bone spurs growing in their place. The cartilage may also get rough or break down completely. This process gets worse over time and often cause symptoms, including:
Symptoms may get worse after sitting or resting for a long time, and impact type of exercises may also cause more pain and swelling in the joint.
|To correctly diagnose tricompartmental osteoarthritis, a doctor may first ask questions and perform a physical exam.
Osteoarthritis involves knee pain and several other symptoms, so doctors may ask if the person has symptoms such as:
Doctors will often use imaging tests, such as X-rays, to confirm the diagnosis. They will look for any signs of cartilage that has worn away or extra bony growths where the cartilage should be. Osteoarthritis may be more challenging to diagnose in its early stages but easier in later stages.
If there is still any doubt, doctors may recommend a soft tissue scan, using an MRI scanner, to thoroughly check the ligaments, cartilage, and synovium.
|Causes and risk factors|
|Osteoarthritis can occur from normal wear and tear of the joints, so anyone could potentially be diagnosed with the disorder. However, some risk factors may make diagnosis more likely.
|There is currently no cure for osteoarthritis because cartilage cannot be replaced once it has eroded.
The optimal treatment for tricompartmental osteoarthritis varies based on the severity of the condition. Treatment usually involves managing symptoms, preventing progression of the disorder, or surgery.
The following treatments can help with the symptoms of osteoarthritis:
If a doctor recommends surgery for tricompartmental osteoarthritis, this often involves a total knee replacement or total knee arthroplasty. In this surgery, doctors replace the damaged bone and joint with a plastic and metal joint.
It can take several months to recover from total knee arthroplasty. Regular physical therapy sessions will help strengthen the legs and allow a person to walk normally again.
|Osteoarthritis is a common chronic degenerative condition, currently without a complete cure. Tricompartmental osteoarthritis symptoms affect the entire knee and may be more widespread.
Managing these symptoms may help in many cases, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle may also slow the progression of the disorder. Surgery can help restore function in the affected knee if other interventions do not work.
Source Medical News Today
Osteoarthritis, obesity and weight loss: evidence, hypotheses and horizons – a scoping review, Obes Rev. 2014 Jul; 15(7): 578–586. H Bliddal, AR Leeds, and R Christensen. Published online 2014 Apr 22. doi: 10.1111/obr.12173
Current evidence on risk factors for knee osteoarthritis in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Silverwood V, Blagojevic-Bucknall M, Jinks C, Jordan JL, Protheroe J, Jordan KP. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2015 Apr;23(4):507-15. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2014.11.019. Epub 2014 Nov 29. Full text
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