Knee arthritis

When you have developed arthritis in the knee is means that you have a degenerative disease that is destroying the cartilage in the joint of your knee. The most common form of arthritis is called Osteoarthritis. This disease can be inherited but commonly this condition is brought on by an injury to the knee. If you have injured your knee or had a fracture at one point, this can lead to the onset of arthritis. It is also extremely common in people that are involved in sports or those that have constant wear on the joints. If you have a hobby that is hard on the knee or a career that causes constant stress or overuse of the knee then this can be the cause. Some other factors that can contribute to this disease include, age, weight, genetics and abnormal bone structure. For people that are overweight and obese, knee arthritis is very common. The more weight you have on your body means more weight and pressure you put on your joints every time you take a step. Also people who have knees that are not aligned properly due to abnormal body structure may suffer from knee arthritis since the knees may have more friction than normal.

If you notice symptoms including consistent aches and pains, or swelling in the knee you may have osteoarthritis. Getting out of the bed each day may pose a problem and you may notice the pain is worse or the joint is extremely stiff at first. It is typical for the joint to loosen throughout the day but start again the next morning. Osteoarthritis usually starts slowly and increases in pain gradually.

Once you start noticing these signs it’s important to be seen by your doctor to get an official diagnosis. In order to diagnosis arthritis your doctor may ask you several questions in regards to the type of pain, the severity of the pain and how often it occurs. He can also feel the joint by doing a physical exam, look at your previous medical history, discuss what types of physical activities you are involved in and send you for X-rays or an MRI.

After the diagnosis has been made, your doctor will discuss your course of treatments. If the symptoms of osteoarthritis are in the initial phase you will most likely be instructed to rest your knee often, discontinue activities that are causing the damage, start a form of physical therapy, use ice packs on the joint for pain and swelling, and to take some medications to lessen the pain. Once the disease moves beyond the initial phase there are other treatments that can be started. Treatments such as Corticosteroid injections directly into the area are temporary but can offer immediate relief of pain and swelling. Having an Arthroscopy procedure will remove loose cartilage fragments. Osteotomy is a surgery that realigns the tibia and femur to improve the alignment of the knee. Unicompartmental Knee Replacement is surgery that replaces a part of the affected knee and Total Knee Replacement Surgery removes the bad joint and replaces the components with plastic or metal materials.

In order to have a successful treatment and prevent further damage it is important to catch the arthritis in its beginning stages. If you are overweight and are starting to feel the effects on your joints you should try to lose weight to lessen the pressures on your knees. Also if you find that certain hobbies or repetitive actions are causing pain you should try to rest your knee as often as possible to alleviate pain and swelling and to avoid the arthritis from advancing into the next phase.

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Last updated on Nov 21st, 2009 and filed under Musculoskeletal Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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