Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. Knee arthritis can make it hard to do many everyday activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. While it may seen minor in regards to other knee injuries, it’s a major cause of lost work time and serious liability for many people.
The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, but there are more than 100 different forms.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the knee. It is a degenerative “wear-and-tear” type of arthritis that occurs often in people 50 years of age and older, but is no stranger to younger people too. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the knee joint gradually wears away, becoming frayed and rough, and the protective space between the bones decreases. This results in bone rubbing on bone and can produce painful bone spurs. Osteoarthritis develops slowly and the pain it causes worsens over time.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that attacks multiple joints throughout the body, including the knee joint. It is known as a symmetrical disease, meaning it usually affects the same joint on both sides of the body. With rheumatoid arthritis, membranes that cover the knee joint begin to swell, resulting in knee pain and stiffness.
Overall, pain, swelling and stiffness are the primary symptoms of a knee joint affected by arthritis. Any joint in the body may be affected by the disease, but it is particularly common in the knee. Generally, the pain develops over time, although sudden inset is also possible. Other symptoms include:
- The joint becoming stiff and swollen, making the knee hard to bend and straighten
- Pain and swelling worse in the morning, or after sitting or resting
- The knee “locking” or “sticking” during movement. It may creak, click or snap
- Pain that causes a feeling of weakness or buckling in the knee
- Increased pain with rainy weather
OKC Orthopedics, Sports & Pain Medicine is committed to helping patients with knee arthritis return to the highest level of activity possible. Although there is no cure for arthritis currently, there are a myriad of treatment options available to help manage pain and keep people moving without pain.