Where the femur (upper thigh bone) meets your tibia (lower leg bone) we have what is called the articular cartilage. Knee arthritis occurs when the cartilage of the knee joint slowly erodes. Without the benefit of the cushiony cartilage, the bones of the knee joint rub together, resulting in stiff, swollen, and painful knees.
There are generally three types of arthritis of the knee. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the knee, and is considered as “wear and tear” arthritis. It is considered a degenerative disease in which the joint cartilage slowly wears away. Osteoarthritis primarily affects middle-aged and older people. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the joints in the knees. It can occur at any age and generally affects both knees. It is an inflammatory type of arthritis that destroys the joint cartilage. Post-traumatic arthritis develops after an injury to the knee. It often develops years after an injury such as a fracture, ligament injury, or meniscus tear, and is similar to osteoarthritis.
- Pain that gradually worsens
- Stiff and swollen joints
- Difficulty bending or straightening the knee
- Pain and swelling worse in the morning, or after a period of inactivity
- Pain and swelling that is worse after walking, kneeling, climbing stairs
- Locking or buckling of the knee
- Pain as a result of weather changes
- Limited range of motion
- Tenderness along the joint
In order to reduce pain and increase mobility and function, we offer several different nonsurgical treatments to alleviate your symptoms. Weight loss, exercise, and medication can greatly reduce pain. Each pound of weight lost takes 4 pounds of stress off your knees. Low impact exercise such as swimming, cycling, walking, or water aerobics relieves arthritis pain. Hot and cold packs, as well as taking a bath can help. Cold lessens inflammation while heat boosts circulation.
As a last resort, surgery is an option. Speak with Dr. Osmani to discuss your surgical options.