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Tuesday, May 03, 2011 Bonnie, Community Member, asks

Q: I have been diagnosed with Tricompartmental Arthritis. What is this EXACTLY? What are the 3 compartments? What is the treatment?

I am a Physical Therapist. I have had a scope for general clean-out and micro fracture to stim bone growth PLUS an ACL reconstruction, autograft from patellar tendon w/ bone plugs and screws. I am in constant pain and no longer able to exercise. I am 52 yo. What are the treatment options?
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Answers (1)
5/ 3/11 5:02pm

The knee is separated into three compartments or areas: the lateral, medial and patellofemoral (knee cap). Arthritis can affect all three areas to various degrees. Based on the procedure you describe, a joint preservation procedure has been done in an effort to give you as much knee function as possible before the inevitable, end point treatment--arthroplasty (joint replacement).

 

Because you are a PT, I am sure you have already tried to unload the knee as much as possible during exercise and other activities to improve activity tolerance. Hopefully, you have tried and are sticking with an anti-inflammatory diet and maybe some supplements like glucosamine and omega-3's.

 

Eventually, you may need some medication management for your chronic pain to improve your QOL and function.

 

Dr. Christina Lasich, MD

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Bonnie, Community Member
5/ 3/11 8:24pm
Thank you for your response. Is arthroscopy helpful to remove bone spurs and smooth out the rough area in the joint in this situation? Reply
5/ 3/11 9:50pm

Smoothing out the joint surfaces is the idea behind arthroscopic surgery for cases of severe arthritis. Sometimes this surgery can relieve pain and improve range of motion, sometimes not. Surgical success is based on many factors. So, it is hard for me to say exactly why you are not improving after surgery.

 

Dr. Christina Lasich, MD

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By Bonnie, Community Member— Last Modified: 07/31/12, First Published: 05/03/11