What’s the Best Way to Treat Knee Arthritis?
The joints in your knees make it so that your knees can bend and flex, allowing you to walk, climb stairs, and sit. When knee arthritis occurs, it can be difficult for you to move around as easily as you did due to the pain and swelling.
What Is Knee Arthritis?
Knee arthritis is inflammation in your knee joints. Arthritis is most commonly found in the knee, but any joint in the body may be affected by the disease. The two most common types of knee arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but there are over 100 different types.
What Are the Symptoms of Knee Arthritis?
Pain, swelling, and stiffness are the primary symptoms of arthritis. Commonly, knee pain develops gradually over time, however knee pain and inflammation can happen suddenly too. The following symptoms may also appear:
- Joint stiffness and swelling make it hard to bend and straighten the knee.
- Pain and swelling may be at its worst in the morning, or after sitting or lying down.
- Brisk, energetic activity causes pain
- Fragmented cartilage and other loose tissue make the knee lock or stick during movement. This can cause creaking, clicking, snapping, or grinding noises.
- Pain makes it feel like the knee is weak or buckling.
- Rainy weather is associated with increased joint pain.
What Causes Knee Arthritis?
Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a recurring condition that comes from cartilage breakdown. Cartilage pads and protects the ends of the knee bones where they come together to form joints. Cartilage breakdown leads to the ends of the bones rubbing against each other. This constant rubbing results in stiffness and pain, as well as loss of joint movement. Knee joints are the ones most commonly affected by OA.
Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that causes chronic inflammation in the joints. RA occurs because the body’s immune system wrongly perceives and attacks the thin membrane lining the joints as an intruder. This abnormal immune response results in joint damage, inflammation, swelling, pain, loss of function, as well as disability. Many joints besides the knees can be affected, such as the ankles, feet, hands, wrists, and elbows.
Post traumatic knee arthritis: This type of knee arthritis, which has the same symptoms as osteoarthritis, comes from damage to the knee cartilage that results from a traumatic knee injury.
What Are the Best Ways to Treat Knee Arthritis?
There are a variety of conservative treatment options for knee arthritis, and what’s best for you will depend on your unique situation and how severe your condition may be. Conservative treatments for knee arthritis typically include:
- Avoiding activities that can cause significant knee stress
- Physical therapy
- Low impact exercise
- Weight loss
- Knee injections
- Prescription medications
If conservative treatments don’t give you improved function and relief from the pain and discomfort in your knee, you may be a candidate for surgery. Schedule a consultation with an experienced orthopedic knee specialist who can provide you with advanced treatment options that include the highest quality implants and the latest surgical techniques for either a total knee replacement or a partial knee replacement.
If you’re suffering from knee pain caused by knee arthritis, take the first step towards better mobility and an improved quality of life by scheduling an evaluation with an experienced orthopedic knee specialist. Dr. Peter K. Sculco’s first-rate orthopedic training and experience provides the personalized care needed to get you back to your normal life quickly with improved joint function and reduced or eliminated pain. Call 212.606.1771 today or fill out the form on this page to request an appointment.