Arthritis of the Knee

Arthritis of the knee results in a wearing away of the cartilage of the knee. There a numerous types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis being the most common form of wear and tear arthritis. Some of the most common symptoms of arthritis are pain, swelling and stiffness.

Osteoarthritis comes from the degeneration of the knee over time. The knee’s cartilage becomes worn away and eventually leads to painful friction between the bones. As the wear of the cartilage progresses, the symptoms usually worsen.,

Rheumatoid Arthritis comes from autoimmune inflammatory state in the body and it can be found in multiple joints within the body. Rheumatoid Arthritis can develop over weeks or months and may progress much faster than Osteoarthritis. The disease causes the synovial membrane covering the knee joint to swell. This results in pain and stiffness, and loss of mobility in the knee.

Arthritis of the knee can be treated through a few different methods. Usually, initial treatment will consist of medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents,such as ibuprofen or naproxen, to reduce the inflammation, This may be done in conjunction with physical therapy to strengthen the knee. If this fails to improve the pain, injections of corticosteroids to reduce the inflammation, or synthetic joint fluid to act as a liquid cushion between the bones may be administered.

Arthroscopic surgery using a small tube with fiber optics and lenses through extremely small incisions in the knee, is of limited use for arthritis of the knee, usually reserved for those patients who have mechanical symptoms such as locking, catching or giving way occurring in conjunction with their arthritis. Arthritis is a subtractive process in which the cartilage has worn off of the bone, and arthroscopy can not replace it.

Finally, if conservative treatment fails to result in adequate pain relief, then Partial or Total knee replacement in which one or more areas of an arthritic knee are replaced with metal or plastic, may be necessary.