Osteoarthritis, which is also referred to as degenerative joint disease, is a medical condition that wears away the joint cartilage. The absence of cartilage in the joint makes the bones rub closely together since there is nothing to absorb shock. The rubbing of the joint bones results in stiffness, pain, and swelling of the knee. While anybody can get osteoarthritis at any age, individuals from 40 years or more are usually more prone to this condition. Also, women have a higher risk of having osteoarthritis than men.
Causes Of Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
Some of the factors that can lead to osteoarthritis of the knee include:
- Age – As mentioned above, people over 40 years are more likely to develop this condition than younger people.
- Gender – this condition is more prone to women than men, especially women over 55 years old.
- Weight – too much pressure on the knee can damage the cartilage in the knee joint. Arthritis of the knee can be caused by carrying heavy loads or being overweight
- Heredity – this type of arthritis can be caused by genetic composition from inheritance. There are some people who develop this condition due to the inherited abnormality of the knee and the bones of the knee joint.
- Recurrent stress on the knee – this can be determined by the individuals’ daily activities. Individuals who are involved in activities that stress the knee such as squatting, kneeling and carrying heavy loads have a higher risk of developing this condition.
Here’s an image that will give you a general idea on what “good” and “bad” kneeds look like:
Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
Individuals with arthritis of the knee usually develop the following symptoms:
- Increased pain in the knee – Sometimes arthritis can occur suddenly while in other cases it occurs slowly. You normally feel pain in the knee on several occasions such as when walking or climbing the stairs. As time passes you start feeling pain throughout, after the condition has persisted.
- Tenderness and swelling – As the bones rub each other due to the absence of cartilage, they cause a formation of extra fluids in the knee making it swell. The skin on your knee can also start feeling warm when you touch it, and it can also appear reddish.
- Locking of the knee – Osteoarthritis of the knee can lead to a weakening of your knee muscles leading to instability of the knee joint. The instability of the knee can lead to joint locking up, making it impossible for you to bend the knee.
- Reduced motion range – The wearing away of the cartilage prevents the joint from functioning properly. The malfunctioning joints prevent the knee from moving as it should. This can easily be noticed when you are stepping up on something.
How To Treat Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
Once you visit a medical center with symptoms of arthritis, the doctor usually starts by carrying out a physical examination. The doctor will also ask about your medical history. You may have to undergo advanced diagnosis such as X-rays and Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans so that the doctor can determine the extent of your condition. After the diagnosis, the doctor may recommend the following forms of treatment:
- Weight loss
- Prescription of anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers
- Physical therapy
- Injection of hyaluronic into the knee
- Weight balance using OA knee braces
If you start experiencing the symptoms of arthritis of the knee it is highly recommended that you visit a medical center for examination. Arthritis of the knee is easily treated if it is detected at its initial stages.
Disclaimer – I am not a doctor and I am not qualified to provide medical advice. This was posted for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Read full disclaimer.
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May 27, 2016
Every generation in my family has had osteoarthritis in the knee! ! ! I’m starting to feel some pain once in a while now … guess that answers that.
May 28, 2016
Sorry to hear that! But don’t worry just yet. Your knee pain could be caused by something else. The best thing to do is to go see your doctor to find out. There are tests they can suggest (MRI, etc.) that can detect OA. The earlier you know, the better. Good luck!