Two of the most common operations carried out in the UK are on knees and hips, possibly because the knee joint is the largest joint in our bodies (closely followed by the hip).
Our knees are vital in our ability to move around, and they take our bodyweight through a range of movements with their flexibility, enabling us to lead an active life. This is the case, until something goes wrong.
In this Edureads article we are going to focus on your knees. If your knees are not causing you any problems, this article will point you in the right direction for keeping it that way. If you’re developing niggles that are signalling time to make changes hopefully some of the tips below will help you.
The good news is that experiencing joint deterioration and pain isn't an inevitable part of ageing. Significantly, experts have found that although genetics can play a part, as individuals we can have an impact on the severity and speed of any natural age-related wear and tear that may occur. By assessing your lifestyle and making a few changes we can improve your chances of reducing stiffness and irreparable damage.
Tips for looking after your knees
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. Specialist in Knee Surgery and Sports Injuries, Mr Bobby S Anand MBBS BSc (Hon) FRCS (Tr & Orth) lists 10 tips for looking after your knees which include:
- Staying active
- Watching your weight
- Looking at your footwear
- Improving your posture
- Not ignoring pain or swelling
Read the full article here
The positive impact that losing weight has on your knees
When it comes to all our joints (and health in general) maintaining a healthy weight features constantly. In this article in the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/aug/11/five-ways-to-look-after-your-joints) Sue Baic, a spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, says: “For every 0.5kg (1lb) lost, we reduce the weight going through the knee joint at each step by 2kg (4.5lb).” On top of that Sue explains that excess body fat, especially around the abdomen, is also inflammatory, making osteoarthritis symptoms worse.
Why exercise regularly?
Exercise is good for our overall mental and physical health and brings about benefits not just for our joints. Muscle strength around the knee, hip and gluteal muscles can help prevent and aid recovery from injury.
If you want to start putting a plan together to maintain or help improve your knee mobility a good starting point is on the Bupa website physio exercise section.
Information from the Bupa Knee Clinic
Bupa are also very actively engaged in investing in research and development and bringing in experts specialising in all aspects of musculoskeletal health. They have devoted a whole section on their website to the ‘knee clinic’ which is packed full of interesting and useful information https://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/knee-clinic
Value of your PMI cover
The normal wait time for a hospital referral for knee problems on the NHS is 18 weeks. This Royal College of Surgeons news article shows that the wait time for a referral has increased, with over 2 million people waiting longer than the statutory 18 weeks. On top of that some people have been waiting over 2 years for surgery, that’s a long time to be in pain. Read the full article here https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/news-and-events/media-centre/press-releases/waiting-times-press-notice-november-2021/
How much does knee surgery cost?
Those who haven’t got PMI cover might consider paying for the operation themselves. Despite being the most common operation, it isn’t a simple procedure. The Cromwell hospital offers knee surgery to those who don’t want to wait on a long surgical list. The standard operation costs without the reassurance of cover for complications is over £16,000.
Please look after your knees (and health in general) and, as always, if there are any other health topics you’d like to know more about do let us know – you can email us on email@example.com pop “Edureads ideas’ in the subject line.
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