2 The condition, current treatments and procedure

2 The condition, current treatments and procedure

The condition

2.1 Osteoarthritis of the knee is the result of progressive deterioration of the articular cartilage and menisci of the joint, usually because of trauma and wear and tear. This leads to exposure of the bone surface. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling and difficulty walking. Acute exacerbations of pain are common and usually self‑limiting after 14 days. Only a small number of patients develop progressive symptoms needing treatment.

Current treatments

2.2 Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms. Conservative treatments include analgesics and corticosteroid injections to relieve pain and inflammation, and physiotherapy and prescribed exercise to improve function and mobility. When symptoms are severe, surgery may be indicated: options include upper tibial osteotomy and unicompartmental or total knee replacement.

The procedure

2.3 Magnetic resonance therapy (MRT) for osteoarthritis is a non-invasive procedure that uses a special device to administer electromagnetic energy to an osteoarthritic joint. A range of devices with different physical designs are available. The aim is to relieve the symptoms and to improve the osteoarthritis by stimulating the cartilage cells.

2.4 MRT is done in an outpatient setting. During the procedure, the patient lies on the couch and a section of the MRT device slides over the knee. The device generates electromagnetic fields which are targeted to the cartilaginous tissue in the affected joint. The aim is to promote joint repair and relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Each treatment lasts 60 minutes. Depending on the severity of the disease and MRT therapy device, a course of treatment typically consists of 5 to 10 treatment sessions on consecutive days.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)