Knee Osteoarthritis

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What is knee osteoarthritis?

There are more than 100 types of arthritis, and osteoarthritis is one of the most common and a leading cause of disability. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition. In knee osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the knee joint gradually wears down, becoming frayed and coarse, and the space between the bones also decreases. This causes bone-on-bone contact as you move, leading to the production of bone spurs, which can cause pain and limit your range of motion. While it is most common in older adults, it can also affect younger people.

Symptoms

Symptoms and signs of arthritis in knee can vary in severity depending on how much damage has occurred in the joint. Osteoarthritis knee pain and swelling is often worse after resting or sitting even just for a short time. Vigorous activity may cause your pain to flare up, and damp weather has also been associated with a worsening of symptoms in those with knee arthritis. Symptoms tend to worsen gradually and may include:

  • Knee pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased range of motion in the knee
  • A sensation of “locking” or “sticking” of the knee when moving
  • Swelling
  • Weakening or buckling of the knee

Why do I have knee osteoarthritis?

Knee osteoarthritis results from the deterioration of the cartilage that protects the ends of the bones in your knee joint. Degenerative changes can be caused by the wear and tear experienced as we age or from overuse resulting from repetitive strain on the knee. Previous knee injuries and surgeries can also cause degeneration and, eventually, knee osteoarthritis.

Risks

There are certain factors that are known to increase the risk of developing degenerative knee arthritis, with age being the most common. Other factors that may increase a person’s chance of developing knee osteoarthritis include:

  • Activities that cause repetitive stress on the knee joint, such as running
  • Being overweight
  • Previous injuries to the knee, such as ACL and meniscus tears
  • A family history of osteoarthritis

Diagnosis

In order to diagnose degenerative knee arthritis, your doctor will first consider your medical history and symptoms. The doctor will want to know what your symptoms are, how long you’ve been in pain, what activities aggravate your symptoms, and if any specific event caused your pain.The next step in determining the cause of your symptoms is a physical examination. The doctor will check your leg for signs of arthritis in knee and injury.

Imaging tests are required to formally diagnose knee osteoarthritis. These can include:

  • X-rays

    This type of imaging test creates images of bone and can help the doctor distinguish between different types of knee arthritis by showing changes in the bone, bone spurs, and narrowing of the joint space.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

    This scan is able to provide highly detailed images of dense and soft tissues in and around the knee. This enables the doctor to not only diagnose knee osteoarthritis, but also the extent of the damage to the joint.

  • Joint aspiration (arthrocentesis)

    A needle and syringe are used to remove a sample of fluid from the knee joint to check for the presence of crystals and other matter to help rule out other causes of your symptoms and determine the type of knee arthritis you have.

Treatment

There is currently no permanent cure for osteoarthritis. However, there are many treatment options available that may help relieve pain and slow the progression of the condition

AROmotion is a cutting-edge solution for pain caused by joint injuries and degenerative disorders like osteoarthritis. Our unique, minimally invasive treatment procedures are needle-based, meaning that there is no incision and no surgical recovery period. AROmotion preserves your natural knee joint, promotes natural healing, and restores your mobility faster than other treatments!

Other treatment options include:

  • Weight loss

    This minimizes the load placed on your knee and other joints, which can relieve pain and help to lessen future damage on the joints. If you are overweight, losing just a few pounds can result in significant improvement of pain.

  • Activity modification

    Avoiding or limiting activities that aggravate knee arthritis can slow progress of the disease and relieve symptoms.

  • Assistive devices

    Wearing a knee brace can help with stability and movement. The use of other active devices, such as canes or special shoes and insert can also improve stability and help reduce the risk of injury and aggravation of symptoms of knee arthritis

  • Pain medication

    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and other pain relievers can reduce pain and inflammation.

  • Physical therapy

    Specific exercises can help improve flexibility and strength, as well as improve your range of motion.

  • Cortisone steroid injections

    A combination of cortisone and a numbing agent is injected directly into the knee for quick relief of pain and inflammation.

  • Hyaluronic acid injections

    These injections use a fluid similar to the thick fluid found in our joints that provide lubrication so the joint can move better.

  • Radiofrequency ablation

    Also known as denervation, this is a method of temporarily turning off or blocking the nerves from sending pain signals while other therapies have time to take effect.

  • PRP injections

    PRP, or platelet-rich plasma therapy, injects proteins called growth factors, which help support healing in injured areas.

  • Stem cell injections

    Physician directed stem cell therapy uses very powerful young cells to stimulate the patient’s own native repair mechanisms to regenerate new cartilage.

  • Surgery

    There are different types of surgical procedures to treat severe osteoarthritis in the knee: knee osteotomy (which realigns the bones in the knee), total or partial knee joint replacement, cartilage grafting, or minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery. The type of surgery you have will depend on the extent of your damage and other factors, such as age and overall state of health.

If knee osteoarthritis is preventing you from moving freely, contact the skilled team at Advanced Regenerative Orthopedics to find out how we can help you get back to a pain-free life!