Your joints are the intersection of bones, musculoskeletal tissue, and cartilage that allows several parts of your body to move, and your knee joint is the biggest — as well as one of the most important for lower body movement. These synovial joints help to provide stability, support, and movement in your legs, and it’s essential for most every activity you perform on your feet.
The femur, tibia, and patella are the bones that form the knee, supported by cartilage, ligaments, muscles, and nerves that all work together to allow it to move naturally in one direction.
Because your knees are so necessary for upright movement, they are prone to several conditions, including arthritis.
There are several types of arthritis that can affect knees, and several things that can increase your risk of dealing with them. To better understand those possible factors, let’s examine what knee arthritis is, what may lead to you having it, and how we can treat it.
Arthritis is inflammation or swelling in your joints, and in your knees, they can cause pain, stiffness, and limited mobility.
Knee arthritis often leads to damage to the cartilage, which is a substance in joints that acts as a cushion to brace and protect from the impact of movement. As it wears down, it leads to damage to the bone and other tissue in your knees, increasing the pain and limitation of mobility.
There are several types of arthritis that can affect knees, with osteoarthritis being the most common. Other types include post traumatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
Many different things can increase the risk of arthritis in your knees, such as:
Stress on your knees can come from several causes, such as supporting too much weight, or repetitive movement from sports, work, or everyday activities.
Osteoarthritis is something people of any age can get, but it is more common as you get older, and women deal with it more often than men.
Accidents or getting hurt during sports, exercise, or other activities can also damage knees, which can lead to arthritis.
Crooked bones or joints can lead to this form of joint inflammation over time, as well as metabolic disease like diabetes and hemochromatosis (a disease where you have too much iron in the blood). One form of this condition, gout, can also contribute to getting osteoarthritis over time.
There are many approaches to treating knee arthritis, including therapies, medications, and if necessary, surgeries.
Weight loss, physical therapy, low-impact exercise, and knee braces can help to mitigate mild forms of this condition, while medications like duloxetine (Cymbalta), risedronate (Actonel), and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) can help manage specific types.
Surgeries that can treat arthritis range from minimally invasive, like arthroscopies, to more involved procedures like cartilage grafting and partial or total joint replacement.
A lot of things can lead to knee problems, but whatever is causing your inflammation and pain, we can help. Make an appointment with Dr. Daniels and his team at Southwest Orthopedic Associates today to get relief from knee arthritis.