Knee joints Become Less Lubricated as we get Older, Causing Painful Friction
Knee Osteoarthritis, also known as wear-and-tear arthritis, is a condition affecting the natural cushioning, or cartilage, between joints in the knee.
Knee Arthritis Facts & Information
Healthy joints are remarkable pieces of nature’s engineering, moving with almost friction-less ease. But the inflammation in arthritic joints can render even small movements difficult and painful.
Although there is no cure for most types of arthritis, there are treatments that can help you significantly reduce the pain and preserve existing joint function. Our physicians can help you discover the best way to manage knee arthritis and get you back to the everyday activities you enjoy.
How & Why Knee Arthritis Develops
Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, is the breakdown of cartilage that keeps bones from rubbing together. It most commonly occurs in the weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees, and can be made worse by obesity.
As the cartilage wears away, the bone underlying it degenerates, and other parts of the joint, such as ligaments and muscles, become altered as well. Usually appearing at middle age and developing slowly, osteoarthritis is characterized by pain that gets worse as the day goes on, stiffness and decreased motion, swelling in the joint, sounds (like clicking or crunching noises) when moving the affected joint and visible deformity of the joint.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is another condition that also causes inflammation of the joint and surrounding tissues. However, unlike osteoarthritis, RA can also affect the organ systems of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body mistakenly attacks its own tissues and organs. Other less common causes of joint arthritis may include infection and gout.
The most common symptoms of patients with knee arthritis include:
-Decreased range of motion
-Swelling in the joint
-Clicking or crunching noises when moving
Since hip and knee arthritis can be caused by a number of factors – from wear and tear, to infection, to immune disorders – an accurate diagnosis is the key to determining the most appropriate treatment plan. To reach an accurate diagnosis of knee arthritis, the following might be completed by one our physicians:
-Complete medical history of your symptoms – including location and pattern
-A comprehensive physical examination will be performed
-State-of-the-art imaging technologies may also be used to get a better look at the joint and surrounding tissues
The type and extent of treatment often depends on factors such as your age, activity level, overall health and severity of the condition.