About Knee Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee is a wear-and-tear disease that develops gradually over the years due to repetitive damages in the joint because of certain activities or events. Besides aging, there are other reasons that may cause you to be a higher risk of developing knee OA, such as being overweight, family history of knee OA, and certain occupations.
Facts and Information on Knee Osteoarthritis
Knee OA usually develops slowly, and gradually worsens over time The symptoms may range from mild to very severe. In general, there are four stages of knee OA.
Stages of Knee Osteoarthritis
Narrowing of joint space is unlikely.
Minimal change in joint space; identified small osteophytes (bone spurs formed around the joint).
Moderate joint space narrowing; presence of multiple osteophytes.
Severe joint space narrowing with bone on bone contact; presence of multiple large osteophyrtes.
Healthy Knee VS Knee With OA
In a healthy knee, there is small amount of lubricating fluid, known as synovial fluid, in the joints. A substance known hyaluronic acid is found predominantly in synovial fluid. The primary function of hyaluronic acid is to provide lubrication and reduce friction when the knee joint moves or bends. It also has shock absorbing ability to protect your joint when, for example, you jump.
When you have OA of the knee, the cartilage that protects the ends of the bones gradually deteriorates. OA of the knee also causes the synovial fluid inside the joint to become damaged and lose its shock-absorbing abilities. Therefore, it can no longer protect your knee joint effectively. Bones may begin to rub against each other, causing pain, stiffness and loss of movement in the joint. This is why you experience pain, swelling and loss of mobility.
That is why getting diagnosed and treated early can help greatly in reducing knee pain, allowing you to continue to carry out the activities you enjoy.
Common Symptoms of Knee OA
- Pain during movement and even at rest
- A grating sensation in the joint during movement
- Stiffness after periods of rest
- Joint swelling
- Loss of range of movement
- Loss of mobility
- Weakened procedure due to pain and stiffness
The symptoms of OA are treatable, especially in the early stages of the disease. If knee OA is not treated appropriately, these symptoms can get worse over time. Constant pain and limited movement probably make even simple tasks and pleasures increasingly difficult for you. If you have pain or stiffness in one or both knees, contact our doctor to find out if you have OA.
Treatment Options for Knee OA
If you are diagnosed with knee OA, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments to reduce your symptoms:
- Lifestyle changes, including moderate exercise, weight control and reducing stress on your joints.
- Oral pain relievers such as paracetamol or NSAIDs for temporary pain relief.
- Dietary supplements, such as glucosamines, are also used to help manage knee pain. However, taking these supplements does not stop your knee OA from getting worse.
- Topical pain-relieving creams to apply to your skin.
- Physical and occupation therapy to strengthen muscles and improve mobility.
- Steroid injections to temporary relieve pain and reduce any swelling.
- Viscosupplementation: A Knee injection, such as Synvisc, that replaces damaged joint fluid, in order to reduce pain and often improve function as well.
- Surgery, often recommended when knee pain is severe and other treatments have not provided relief.