OrthoGeorgia Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joseph E. Slappey, MD Discusses Knee Arthritis

General Orthopaedic Health Videos | May 16, 2022

Knee Arthritis in the Aging Population

My name is Dr. Joey Slappey. I’m an orthopaedic surgeon at OrthoGeorgia here in Macon. I’m originally from Americus, Georgia, and attended Georgia Southwestern College where I graduated from, and then attended the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta followed by an orthopaedic residency at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta. I’d like to discuss today one particular diagnosis being knee arthritis. Knee arthritis represents a significant percentage of my practice currently. It is a very common problem, especially as our population is aging and it can present in different ways – anywhere from onset of pain initially to maybe just some swelling and stiffness. It also can present as some deformity in the knee. Initial treatment would include medications such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or Advil. These latter medications are what we call NSAIDs and they can symptomatically decrease pain for a while. 

How is Knee Arthritis Diagnosed?

I would encourage people that experience an onset of knee pain that think they may have osteoarthritis to make an appointment for an evaluation, which would include a detailed history and exam as well as radiographic evaluation, most likely to include weight bearing x-rays. This is all done in an attempt to make a diagnosis so we can institute treatment hopefully early on. 

How is Knee Arthritis Treated?

Treatment might include physical therapy or bracing. In addition to the medications that I mentioned, and then in later stages some type of steroid or treatment either by mouth or periodic injections may be needed. Physical therapy is also important to try to maintain motion in the knee. 

Why is it Important to Seek Treatment for Knee Arthritis Early?

Unfortunately, I’m seeing more and more patients these days that have developed severe arthritis with significant limitation in motion. And unfortunately, if these patients do come to surgery, a lot of times the result is not as good as it might have been initially if we had gotten to the problem a little earlier. So I encourage anyone that thinks they may have this problem to call and make an appointment so that we can evaluate them and maybe institute early treatment. 

About Dr. Joseph Slappey

Dr. Joseph Slappey is one of our general orthopaedics and sports medicine specialists at OrthoGeorgia. He sees patients at our Macon Spine and Orthopaedic Center and has a particular interest in knee and shoulder injuries, sports medicine, arthroscopy, and total joint replacement. Dr. Slappey serves the local community as team physician for area high school and college athletic teams. He is also an active member of several orthopaedic medical organizations. 

Orthopaedic Care in Central Georgia

Our orthopaedic surgeons and specialists at OrthoGeorgia work with patients of all ages to address common orthopaedic conditions and injuries and determine the best next steps for living a more active life. Our comprehensive services include a Surgery Center, Orthopaedic Urgent Care, Physical and Occupational Therapy, Diagnostic Center, DME/Casting, Workers’ Compensation, a pharmacy, and a Bone Health Clinic, so all steps of your care will be covered along the way. Patients can meet with our physicians in Macon (Building A and our Macon Spine and Orthopaedic Center), Warner Robins, Kathleen, Milledgeville, Dublin, and Griffin. To learn more about the care we provide or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today! 

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Personalized Orthopaedic Care in Central Georgia

At OrthoGeorgia, we want to help you live a healthier and more comfortable life by giving those in Macon, Warner Robins, Kathleen, Milledgeville, Dublin, Griffin, and the surrounding areas convenient access to the highest quality care. Whether you have been suffering from a sports injury or a common orthopaedic condition, we will determine the cause of your discomfort and craft a personalized treatment plan to bring you relief. To learn more about our services and our physicians, or to schedule an appointment at OrthoGeorgia, please contact us today.

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