There are three basic types of arthritis that may affect the knee joint:
- Osteoarthritis is the most common form of knee arthritis that is usually a slowly progressive degenerative disease in which the joint cartilage gradually wears away. It most often affects middle-aged and older people.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis that can destroy the joint cartilage. It can occur at any age and generally affects both knees.
- Post-traumatic Arthritis is similar to osteoarthritis and may develop years after a fracture, ligament injury, or meniscus tear.
Symptoms of Knee Arthritis
- Generally, the pain associated with arthritis develops gradually, although sudden onset is also possible.
- The joint may become stiff and swollen, making it difficult to bend or straighten the knee.
- Pain and swelling are worse in the morning or after a period of inactivity but may also increase after activities such as walking, stair climbing, or kneeling.
- The pain may often cause a feeling of weakness in the knee, resulting in a “locking” or “buckling.”
- Many people report that changes in the weather also affect the degree of pain from arthritis.
How We Diagnose Knee Arthritis
- Your orthopaedic specialists in New Orleans will perform a physical examination that focuses on your walk, the range of motion in the limb, and joint swelling or tenderness.
- X-rays typically show a loss of joint space in the affected knee.
- Blood and other special imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be needed to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis.
If your New Orleans orthopaedic surgeon determines that you have arthritis of the knee, you can take advantage of a wide range of treatment options. The effectiveness of different treatments varies from person to person. The choice of treatment should be a joint decision between you and your orthopaedic surgeon.
- In its early stages, arthritis of the knee is treated with nonsurgical measures that fall into four major groups: lifestyle modifications; exercise; supportive devices; other methods.
- Several types of drugs can be used in treating arthritis of the knee.
- If your arthritis does not respond to these nonsurgical treatments, you may need to have surgery.
We want to be your trusted Orthopaedic Specialists of New Orleans. If you are experiencing the symptoms of Knee Arthritis and would like to schedule an appointment, please call our office at (504) 897-7877 and a member of our caring staff will be happy to help you.
Thank you for trusting us with your care!
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