Knee Healthcare at Orthotics Plus

Orthotics Plus provides a range of supports for people living with arthritic knee pain.

Our services are available in our two Melbourne clinics: Malvern & Heidelberg.

Orthotists are primarily concerned with managing the biomechanics of the knee, which can be achieved through various Orthoses, such as foot orthotics through to knee braces.

We are experienced with post-surgery referrals, multidisciplinary care, equipment trials and more, as this is part of holistic care for arthritic knee pain.

What is Knee Arthritis?

The term knee arthritis is an informal way of referring to joint pain or disease localised in the knee. This results in the cartilage covering the bone ends to wear away.

There are many sub-categories of arthritis. Please refer to our general arthritis page for an overview. Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent type of arthritis that we see.

The symptoms are typically pain, stiffness, loss of range of motion, swelling and crepitus in the knee.

The cause of arthritis varies depending on the type of arthritis acquired. As an example, Rheumatoid arthritis is classified as an autoimmune response, however, osteoarthritis is classified as a degenerative condition.

A man wearing a blue Windbreaker jacket., Knee pain after exercise concept.It happens often in athletes practice overtain.In arthritis concept.

Initial Diagnosis of Knee Osteoarthritis

General Practitioners (GPs) are the centerpiece in regards to diagnosing osteoarthritis.

Upon suspicion of arthritis, the GP will perform an assessment (which is imaging & potential blood tests) to determine the specific type of arthritis. When reviewing x-rays, the typical indication of OA is when there’s a loss of joint space in the knee. 

In some cases, the GP will require multiple imaging tests to investigate joints that are harder to image.

The GP would then place a referral with Orthotics Plus if our healthcare is determined as clinically appropriate.

Arthritic Knee Pain Assessment

Orthotics Plus will begin by performing a comprehensive assessment.

In terms of knee OA, there are grades of knee OA severity.

In addition, the specific location of OA can be identified and treated appropriately. This anatomy is referred to as the medial, lateral and patellofemoral compartments of the knee.

Orthotics Plus will assess the patient and provide treatment pathways.

It is important to take our patient’s meaningful goals into account because we find this improves motivation in terms of achieving these goals together.

Reviewing Lifestyle Factors

Orthotics Plus will have a discussion with the patient about lifestyle factors within our control, which are usually:

  • Medications
  • Exercise levels
  • Current rehabilitation programs to strengthen joints
  • Weight management
  • Habits (smoking, alcohol)
  • Reviewing existing equipment/Orthoses
  • Education/understanding of pain

We believe that exercise levels are the most important factor to optimise.

Selecting and completing an appropriate exercise regime can be extremely beneficial for those living with arthritis. We can refer patients and assist with this process.

Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis at Orthotics Plus

Orthotics Plus is primarily engaged in the conservative management of knee OA.

Typically, Orthoses are considered before surgery. This is because our treatment is low risk. Orthoses may also delay surgery for some time. Orthoses prescription for knee OA can be described in two categories:

Biomechanical Interventions

Are used when trying to change the function of a limb to varying extents. Such as shifting load from one compartment of the knee to another.

The reduced load should improve patient function.

The combined feeling of security and stability can influence knee pain.

Examples:

Symptomatic Interventions

Are more conservative than biomechanical braces.

Are characterised by compression, warmth and padding/protection.

The combined feeling of security and stability can influence knee pain.

May enable patients to rehabilitate more effectively by performing their exercises more consistently/effectively.

Examples:

 

Importantly, Orthotics Plus will also consider what is occurring in the foot and ankle that may be causing referred pain in the knee.

We may prescribe medial/lateral heel wedges, shoes or custom-made orthotics which can bequite influential on the biomechanics of the lower limb.

There is good evidence foot orthotics can assist with pain at the patella and various studies showing wedging at the foot and ankle can assist OA knee pain.

Orthotics Plus is Ready to Help

  • We are Australian-owned
  • We maintain awareness of the latest knee Orthoses
  • We advocate for choice and control
  • Patients can trial certain Orthoses

To book a consultation, please use our referrals or clinic locations. We’re looking forward to hearing your story!

Orthotics Plus Heidelberg reception

Arthritic Knee Pain FAQ


This is a variable question and impossible to place a number on.

Put simply, a brace shouldn’t reduce the amount of exercise you can do and should only increase your capacity.

We also advise a slow wear in strategy. For example, it is ideal that a patient uses their brace to become familiar with walking/jogging/running over short distances before attempting a more difficult feat..

Typically, Orthotics Plus is not involved when the OA is asymptomatic.

When a person begins to experience symptoms (i.e. pain or a reduction in capacity), this is the perfect time to contact Orthotics Plus.

A patient should be working with evidence-based practitioners, these may be:

  • General Practitioner
  • Orthopedic knee surgeons
  • Physiotherapists specialising in the knee
  • Medical professionals familiar with treating osteoarthritis

We consider our clinicians to be highly skilled in terms of their ability to deliver meaningful outcomes for our patients with knee OA