What is Ostheorthritis?
It is the most common form of arthritis in the knee. It is a degenerative, ‘wear-and-tear’ type of arthritis that occurs most often in people over 50 years of age, but may occur in younger people, too. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the knee joint gradually wears away. As the cartilage wears away, it becomes frayed and rough, and the protective space between the bones decreases. This can result in bone rubbing on bone, and produce painful bone spurs.
How can I tell if I have it?
The most common symptoms are pain with activity, limited range of motion, stiffness, tenderness, swelling around the knee, feeling like the joint may “give out’’, and deformity (such as knock knees or bowlegs). Your doctor will examine you and take x-rays to see if you have knee osteoarthritis.
How is it treated?
Non surgical treatment
Mild to moderate cases: Pain medicine, exercise, and weight loss (if needed) are usually the first steps. Joint supplements containing glucosamine also may help.
Local injection: A cortisone shot to reduce the swelling in the joint, or another kind of shot to help lubricate the joint.
Surgical treatment / Advanced cases:
Total knee replacement: In advanced cases your doctor will remove the damaged cartilage and bone, and then position new metal or plastic joint surfaces to restore the function of your knee.