Arthritis of the knee can make taking a step painful. Swelling, pain, and stiffness in the joint are just some of the symptoms that can occur when a person has this condition. According to New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer, the daily demands on the knee and its potential for injury make it a common source for arthritis damage.
There are many different kinds of arthritis that can affect the knee. Following are some of the most common.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of knee arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the result of a wearing away of the protective cartilage over the bones. As a result, the bones of the knee start to rub against each other, causing bone spurs to develop on the ends of the bones. Bone spurs are painful and can limit a person’s movement.
Old injuries to the knee and surrounding joints can continue to affect a person and cause post-traumatic arthritis. This condition occurs after a person has experienced an injury. These injuries cause extra wear to the knee joint, leading to osteoarthritis. Your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon reports that painful swelling in the knee joint can occur as a result.
Gout is a form of arthritis that causes uric acid crystals to deposit in the joints, including the knee joints. Uric acid is a waste product that forms when body tissues break down. The crystals are like tiny needles to the knee joint, leading to inflammation that causes pain and swelling.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, which means the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells. The condition tricks the body into thinking that healthy tissues, like protective cartilage, are harmful. As a result, the immune system destroys and damages these tissues and can eventually destroy the joint.
Your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon finds that rheumatoid arthritis can also cause joint swelling and soften the knee bones.
The symptoms of knee arthritis tend to get worse over time. Symptoms commonly linked to knee arthritis include:
- A clicking or popping of the knee joint with movement;
- Pain that is worse in the morning;
- Pain that seems to be weather-related and gets worse with rain;
- Weakness in the knee joint that may cause it to buckle;
- Warmth and redness over the joint are often symptoms of gouty arthritis, but can be seen with almost any kind of arthritis depending on the degree of inflammation.
Knee arthritis symptoms typically worsen over time. Later-stage arthritis symptoms may include visible joint deformities and stiffness that makes movement nearly impossible. However, it’s possible for a person to suddenly experience severe knee arthritis symptoms.
Your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon will diagnose knee arthritis through a physical exam, imaging studies, and lab testing. Doctors often treat early signs of arthritis with at-home care to lessen pain. Ideally, these treatments will help keep arthritis from getting worse.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of knee arthritis – don’t hesitate – contact the office of New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer today to schedule a consultation.