Knee arthritis has a genetic component as well as lifestyle. Athletes who have experienced injuries such as meniscus tears or ligament damage can develop arthritis. Overweight individuals also run a greater risk of developing knee arthritis.
There are three basic types of arthritis that may affect the knee joint:
- Osteoarthritis – the most common form, and one that most often affects middle-age and older individuals.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis – an inflammatory type of arthritis that can destroy the joint cartilage, and usually affects both knees.
- Post-traumatic Arthritis – which can develop after a knee injury such as a fracture, ligament injury or meniscus tear.
Signs of Knee Arthritis
Most often knee pain associated with arthritis develops over time. You may have noticed your joint becoming stiff and swollen. Perhaps this has led to a difficulty bending or straightening your knee. Often times your arthritis seems worse in the morning or after a period of inactivity. You also might feel more pain after rigorous activity.
Many people also feel a worsening of their arthritis when the weather changes. Some people feel a weakness in the knee from locking or buckling the feeling that your knee may give out.
Your treatment options for knee arthritis vary, according to your age, type of arthritis, and condition. In its early stages, often times knee arthritis is treated non-surgically, through lifestyle modification (such as losing weight or minimizing certain activities), physical therapy and exercise, and supportive devices (such as shoe inserts, braces, or canes).
Some patients use drug treatments to reduce inflammation and/or pain associated with knee treatments.
And then, of course, there are surgical treatment options. Our surgeons perform knee arthroscopy, and also perform many successful knee replacements every year.
The decision on which type of treatment to pursue should be discussed with your orthopedic surgeon. If you suffer from knee arthritis, we encourage you to call to make an appointment.