What You Need To Know About Arthritis In The Knee

Posted on: 4 May 2019

Arthritis is a condition that is caused when certain joints in the body become inflamed. Swelling and inflammation can occur in nearly any joint throughout the body including in the hips, fingers, and shoulders. One other joint that is commonly affected by arthritis is the knee. If you noticed lately that you have a hard time getting out of a chair or find it painful to climb stairs, you may have arthritis in your knee.

Here are a few things you should know when it comes to arthritis in the knee to help you better understand this condition.

Know the Common Symptoms

While symptoms can vary from person to person, here are some of the most common symptoms when it comes to arthritis in the knee:

  • Pain in the knee that gradually increases over time
  • The knee feels tender or appears swollen
  • The knee locks up and cannot straighten out
  • The knee makes popping or cracking noises

Some people's knee will start to look deformed, and others will experience reduced range of motion in their knee. If you have any of these symptoms, you will want to see your doctor. You may need to have an x-ray taken of your knee.

If there is a reduced amount of space in the joint, it means the cartilage in your knee has been wearing away. The x-ray might also show damage to the bone as well as bone spurs.

Know Your Treatment Options

Arthritis in the knee can be completely debilitating, which is why the earlier it is diagnosed, the better. When treatment begins sooner rather than later, you have the best chance to retain movement in the joint, and you can increase your chances of staying as mobile as possible.

Some of the most common treatment options include:

  • Medications - analgesics, corticosteroids, and topical NSAIDs are all types of medications that can reduce pain and inflammation in the knee joint.
  • Injection therapy - Your doctor may recommend getting corticosteroid injections or undergo a procedure called arthrocentesis that helps to draw out the fluid from the knee in order to reduce swelling.
  • Knee surgery - surgical options that are used to decrease pain and increase mobility include total joint replacement, arthroscopy, and robotic partial knee replacement.

Your doctor will prescribe the treatment that will best suit your needs. In many cases, your insurance will require you to start with a less invasive procedure, but if medications and injection therapy don't work, knee surgery may be the only option.