Arthritis of the knee is a common condition in the aging population. Traditionally, arthritis of the knee takes three forms: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Post-traumatic Arthritis, with Osteoarthritis being the most common.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is usually a form of arthritis that progresses slowly. As we age, the joint cartilage of the knee tends to degenerate as a result of long term wear and tear and degeneration. This degeneration can cause bones in the knee to rub together resulting in pain and bone spurs.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory arthritis that slowly destroys the cartilage of the knee. RA can occur at any age and the likelihood of RA is based on a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Those with RA most often experience the condition in both knees.
Similar to OA, Post-traumatic Arthritis occurs over a longer period of time. In most instances, the degeneration occurs as a result of a previous injury to the cartilage, ligaments or unhealed fracture. Symptoms may not arise until years after the initial injury occurs.
Signs and Symptoms of Knee Arthritis can vary depending on type:
- Swelling of the knee
- Stiffness of the knee
- Sensitivity to touch
- “Locking” or “buckling” of the joints
- Increased pain when walking, climbing or after periods of activity