What Is Knee Arthritis
Knee arthritis is inflammation and deterioration of knee joint cartilage. Cartilage is the slippery coating on the ends of bones that serves as a cushion and allows the knee to smoothly bend and straighten. Knee cartilage coats the end of the thighbone , top of the shinbone and the backside of the kneecap . When cartilage wears away, the space between the bones narrows. In advanced arthritis, bone rubs on bone and bone spurs may form.
Damage to the joint cartilage over time may result in the development or worsening of deformities of the knee, including knock knees and bowleg.
While Oa And Inflammatory Arthritis Do Share Some Symptoms Namely Pain Tenderness And Swelling The Similarities Tend To End There
If you have persistent knee joint pain, arthritis in your knees could be the culprit. While many forms of arthritis exist, its usually fairly easy for your doctor to first determine which of the two main categories osteoarthritis or inflammatory/autoimmune arthritis you might have.
Those include whats known as mechanical knee arthritis or inflammatory/autoimmune knee arthritis, which includes a number of illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis , psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.
While OA and inflammatory arthritis do share some symptoms namely pain, tenderness, and swelling the similarities tend to end there, as youll see below. The answers to the following questions can often help determine if your knee pain is osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis.
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Coping With Low Mood And Sleep Problems
You might find that osteoarthritis of the knee makes you feel depressed or anxious. Speak to your doctor if youre feeling low as they may be able to recommend psychological therapies to help you, such as cognitive behavioural therapy and stress-relieving techniques.
If your sleep is disturbed because of osteoarthritis of the knee, this could make your pain feel worse. However, there are things you can do for yourself that might help, such as:
- Keep a sleep diary to work out if there are any patterns to your sleep problems
- Sleep at regular times to get your body into a routine
- Avoid phones and other screens in the bedroom to help you wind down before bed.
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Risk Factors For Knee Arthritis
- Age. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative, wear and tear condition. The older you are, the more likely you are to have worn-down knee joint cartilage.
- Heredity. Slight joint defects or double-jointedness and genetic defects may contribute to osteoarthritis in the knee.
- Excess weight. Being overweight or obese puts additional stress on the knees over time.
- Injury. Severe injury or repeated injury to the knee can lead to osteoarthritis years later.
- Overuse. Jobs and sports that require physically repetitive motions that place stress on the knee can increase risk for developing osteoarthritis.
- Gender. Postmenopausal women are more likely to have osteoarthritis than men.
- Autoimmune triggers. While the cause of rheumatoid arthritis remains unknown, triggers of autoimmune diseases are still an area of active investigation.
- Developmental abnormalities. Deformities such as knock knee and bowleg place higher than normal stress on certain parts of the knee joint and can wear away cartilage in those areas.
- Other health conditions. People with diabetes, high cholesterol, hemochromatosis and vitamin D deficiency are more likely to have osteoarthritis.
Have You Had The Following Laboratory Tests Performed To Assess The Arthritis
- Rheumatoid Factor . Is it positive or negative?
- Anti-citrullinated protein antibody . Is it positive or negative?
- Are the markers of inflammation, ESR and/or CRP in the blood elevated?
The classification criteria used worldwide to help in classifying an arthritis as RA is the 2010 ACR/EULAR Classification Criteria.
I present this here to help you screen for rheumatoid & to help determine the likelihood of having RA.
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What Age Does Knee Arthritis Strike
Its possible to develop either category of knee arthritis at virtually any age. However, osteoarthritis of the knee most commonly occurs in people over age 40. Thats because its most often caused by the wear and tear that occurs in your knee joint as you age. As a result, the cartilage that cushions your knee begins to break down.
When we do see knee osteoarthritis in younger people its usually because they experienced trauma to the knee that triggered cartilage loss, says Dr. Domingues.
Certain types of inflammatory arthritis, in contrast, are more likely to develop earlier in life. Ankylosing spondylitis frequently develops between ages 20 and 40, while the age of onset of psoriatic arthritis is usually between 30 and 50.
Treatment Options For Osteoarthritis
Once the severity of the condition has been accurately analyzed, the doctor will be able to recommend a suitable course of treatment. This will be undertaken with consideration given to the patients unique situation as everyone will have their own indicators and limitations regarding treatment.
It must be remembered that knee pain and other associated symptoms differ significantly from case to case. As such, patients who begin to suspect knee osteoarthritis should see a doctor in order to ensure screening and diagnosis takes place at the outset, which will enable appropriate subsequent treatment. However, if patients can take good care of their health, meaning they regulate their body weight, exercise regularly to strengthen the leg muscles, and avoid activities that place the knees under excess strain, they will be able to effectively reduce the likelihood of knee pain while also extending the lifespan of these crucial joints.
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Cracking Or Popping Sounds
When you bend or straighten your knee, you may feel a grinding sensation or hear cracking or popping sounds. Doctors call this crepitus.
These symptoms can occur when youve lost some of the cartilage that helps with smooth range of motion. Both OA and RA can result in cartilage damage.
When cartilage is damaged, rough surfaces and bone spurs develop. As you move your joints, these irregular areas rub against each other.
Preventing Arthritis Of The Knee
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How Is Osteoarthritis Diagnosed
There is no specific test for osteoarthritis. Your doctor will confirm or rule out osteoarthritis based on your symptoms and a physical examination. Some signs they may look for are:
- swelling around the joints in your body
- damage to joint cartilage cartilage is the smooth, cushion-like surface that covers the ends of your bones to allow them to move smoothly
- spurs extra bone growing around the edge of a joint
- weakness in the ligaments and tendons the connective tissue that holds your joints together or attaches muscles to bones
Your doctor may refer you for an x-ray to look for narrowing and changes in the shape of your joints. A blood test may help to rule out other types of arthritis .
Symptoms Of Knee Osteoarthritis Which Require Medical Attention
Patients who experience the aforementioned symptoms that come and go for longer than 6 months and which do not go away despite medicated treatmentsincluding groups who require continuous courses of pain relief or anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the painshould urgently seek medical attention from a doctor specializing in orthopedics before serious damage occurs. The doctor will be able to carry out a thorough diagnosis and recommend the most suitable treatment for their needs.
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Other Causes Of Knee Pain
Sprain or strain to the knee
Injuries to the muscles and ligaments in the knee can lead to pain. Strains and sprains are often due to twisting your knee or a blow to the knee. Falling can lead to knee injuries like this. The symptoms of a sprain or strain include pain, swelling, and difficulty in walking.
The tendons in your knee can get inflamed and painful. This is typically a result of over-use injuries. Activities like cycling, running, and jumping can be the cause of tendonitis. The symptoms include pain, particularly when you are using the knee in a way that aggravates inflamed tendons.
The cartilage in your knee protects the ends of the bones and provides stability to the joint. If you have a knee injury, you might do damage to the cartilage and cause additional pain and swelling in the area.
What You Need To Know About Arthritis
When you think of arthritis, you probably picture an elderly person with aching fingers. You may have heard that cracking your knuckles gives you arthritis. But, lets get the facts straight.
Arthritis doesnt only target the elderly. More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Experts there also state that the condition is more common in people who have other chronic conditions. Consider these arthritis statistics:
- 49 percent of adults with heart disease have arthritis.
- 47 percent of adults with diabetes have arthritis.
- 31 percent of adults who are obese have arthritis.
So, what is arthritis? Vijayabhanu Mahadevan, MD, is a rheumatologist who sees patients in Phoenix. She explains it is a pain and swelling in your joints.
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Possible Reasons I Cant Be Eligible For Knee Replacement
After the knee surgery, your knee joint will become heavy as the surgeons have installed a prosthetic joint between the bones. If you have weak leg muscles due to malnutrition or muscle disease, you are not eligible for knee replacement. A person with poorly managed diabetes is also not eligible for this surgery because his body will not heal the wounds efficiently. People with diabetes try to avoid any injury including the surgical incidence because the repair time is high. They may have to wait years to recover from the wound. If there are some ulcers near the knee joint, the surgeon may not recommend this surgery. The condition can become wear if you have chronic ulcers behind the knee joint. These ulcers will prevent recovery of the surgical incision. The knee replacement will not improve your condition in case of ulcers because the mobility issue and pain will not go away.
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How To Know If You Have Osteoarthritis In Your Knee
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disorder, which can lead to severe pain and disability. It affects millions of Americans every year, making it one of the most common conditions in the U.S. Osteoarthritis in the knee is especially prevalent and prevents people from performing many functions that would otherwise be easy.
When anti-inflammatory drugs and knee braces only provide short-term relief in New York City, NY, it’s time to meet with a board-certified physician, like Dr. Matthew Kohler or Dr. Rajivan Maniam at Ospina Medical. We can provide comprehensive care for arthritic knees, including options like steroid injections, platelet-rich plasma, and bone marrow concentrate to stimulate healing and slow degeneration.
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A Closer Look At Your Knee
Your knee is a powerful hinge joint designed to perform a wide variety of tasks. Some of the most important jobs your knee does on a daily basis include:
- Supporting your body weight without the need for muscles
- Allowing for twisting of your leg
- Providing stability
- Propelling your body forward
- Making walking easy
To carry out these tasks, your knee relies on a complex network of bones, tendons, and ligaments working together with lubricating and cushioning substances, such as joint capsules, bursae, and cartilage.
With so much responsibility and so many structures coming together at one point, its easy to understand why its so vulnerable to injury and disease. Athletes have seen professional careers ended with a ligament tear, and some have had to hang up their running shoes thanks to overuse injuries.
Many others see their daily lives changed as a result of the leading cause of knee pain: arthritis.
Can You Treat Knee Osteoarthritis
Knee osteoarthritis is chronic, meaning it doesn’t go away on its own or disappear overnight. However, there are methods to manage the pain and slow down the progression of the disease. When remedies like anti-inflammatory drugs, knee braces, and other over-the-counter solutions don’t provide relief from knee pain, Ospina Medical has a variety of treatment solutions that improve mobility and provide long-lasting results. This includes steroid injections, platelet-rich plasma, and bone marrow concentrate that contains stem cells.
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How Is Knee Arthritis Diagnosed
Your doctor may use some of the following diagnostic tests and procedures to determine if you have knee arthritis:
- Medical history and physical examination
- Blood tests for genetic markers or RA antibodies
- X-rays to determine cartilage loss in the knee
- Joint aspiration: drawing out and testing the synovial fluid inside the knee joint
Cartilage cannot be seen on X-ray, but narrowing of the joint space between the bones indicates lost cartilage. X-rays show bone spurs and cysts, which can be caused by osteoarthritis. Other tests such as MRI or CT scans are rarely needed for diagnosis.
Arthritis Runs In Your Family
Does your family skip the annual Thanksgiving touch-football tradition because everyone would need to ice their knees afterward? Youre more likely to suffer arthritis symptoms if your parents, grandparents, or siblings have the condition, according to the Cleveland Clinic. And recent research from the UK identified nine genes for osteoarthritis, which suggests that genes may explain at least part of the reason this link exists. And help yourself stay active with these stretches for arthritis that you can do without leaving your chair.
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Sign #5 Reduced Motion
If you are having trouble walking up and down stairs, or going up and down hills because your knees feel stiff or have trouble bending, this can also be a sign that you have arthritis. One of the most common ways that you can know if you have arthritis in the knee is if you have difficulty sitting down or getting up from a seated position. Your knees may feel like they cant bend as easily as they used to this is a much different sensation from having your knees lock.
What Does Arthritis Pain Feel Like
Are you wondering if the pain and stiffness in your hips, knees, or fingers are caused by arthritis? Hereâs how you and your doctor can decide.
Hardly anyone escapes the annoyance of occasional aches and pains, especially as they age. But persistent joint pain and stiffness can be signs of arthritis, which affects more than 54.4 million American adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . By 2040, an estimated 78 million American adults are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
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Decreased Range Of Motion
Pretty much all other signs of arthritis can limit your ability to move about normally. If you have arthritis of the knee, for example, you may find that squatting down or jumping no longer come easily. This can seem like a Catch-22, given that carefully moving your joints is one way to improve circulation and reduce arthritis symptoms.
How Much Exercise Should Do
Thirty minutes a day is a good aim. Initiate small, like with 10 minutes every other day. If the patient doesnt have pain, exercise more to meet the goal.
Some mild muscle soreness is normal at starting. Its OK to work through it. Check with the doctor if you want to try over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen to ease the soreness. Ice can also help. Dont ignore the pain in your joints, though. Let the doctor know if the patient has any difficulty.
A new systematic review published in the journal Rheumatology Advances in Practice aiming to assess factors related to fatigue in individuals with hip & or knee arthritis found that there is strong or moderate evidence that high numbers of co-morbidities or illness burden & modifiable factors, such as high depressive symptoms, low levels of self-reported physical function, high pain & low physical activity levels, are associated with greater fatigue, making these factors possible targets for fatigue reduction in hip & knee arthritis populations. The review showed there was moderate evidence of no association between socio-demographic factors , BMI, radiographic arthritis severity, and fatigue & conflicting evidence for the association between poor performance-based physical function, high anxiety, high joint stiffness, poor sleep & low social support with higher fatigue.
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