Arthritis of the Knee
The knee is susceptible to three types of arthritis:
Symptoms and diagnosis
Although it can occur suddenly, arthritis pain in the knee most often develops over time.
Some signs you may want to consult your doctor include:
- You have trouble bending or straightening your knee
- Your knee is stiff and swollen
- Pain and swelling are worst after a period of inactivity, such as in the morning
- Climbing stairs, walking or kneeling worsens your pain
- A feeling of weakness in the knees
To diagnose arthritis, your doctor will perform a thorough physical exam. Imaging and lab tests may also be ordered to make a more conclusive diagnosis.
Treatment for arthritis in the knee usually begins with conservative, nonsurgical methods. Some of these may include:
- Using assistive and supportive devices to reduce the strain on your knee. Such devices include canes, shock-absorbing shoe inserts, knee sleeves and braces.
- Modifying your lifestyle to reduce strain on your knees. Some changes you can make include losing weight and performing non-weight bearing exercises such as swimming or bike riding.
- Strengthening the muscles in your legs. Having strong muscles supports the knee joint and increases your range of motion.
- Medications, such as corticosteroids, glucosamine and chondroitin and gold salt injections.
If lifestyle modifications and medications aren't effective, your doctor may recommend surgery. There are several options:
- Arthroscopic surgery, in which a small camera is inserted through an incision to get a view of the joint and repair it
- Total or partial arthroplasty, which replaces cartilage with plastic and metal
- Osteotomy, which improves the alignment of the knee
- Cartilage grafting for knees with minimal cartilage loss
To learn more, call 714-456-7012 or schedule an appointment online ›