Know the Warning Signs of Osteoarthritis in the Knee
If your knees have been hurting lately, there are a few different reasons you may be having this pain. Read on for signs that you may have osteoarthritis in the knees – and what you can do about it.
What Is Osteoarthritis?
There are different types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis is the most common. It results when the cartilage that cushions the bones starts to wear away, which is often just a side effect of getting older. These bones rub against each other, causing pain, damage, and swelling. Arthritis in the knee can make it difficult to exercise, climb stairs, or really do much of anything!
What Are the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis?
Besides pain that especially occurs when you bend and straighten the knee and with weight bearing, there are some other symptoms that you are developing knee arthritis:
- Tenderness when pressing down on the knee
- Swelling, caused by a buildup of fluid in the joint
- Warmth in the skin of the knee
- Stiffness, especially after a period of inactivity or first thing in the morning
- Cracking and creaking when bending the knee
How Is Osteoarthritis Treated?
The treatment for osteoarthritis depends on how severe your symptoms are. You may be able to find relief by trying some things at home, such as applying heat or cold to relieve pain and swelling, using over-the-counter pain medications, or using a cane or walker to help take weight off of the knees when you move around.
Your doctor will want to perform tests to determine if the problem is arthritis or another issue. He or she might want to perform x-rays, an MRI, or a CT scan. Your doctor may recommend braces, weight loss, physical therapy, and/or activity modification. If the arthritis is severe and home treatments aren’t helping, your doctor may recommend cortisone, hyaluronic acid, or PRP/stem cell injections or even knee surgery. The surgery may be minimally invasive, such as arthroscopy, or a total knee replacement might be required.
Do you think that pain in your knees might be osteoarthritis? Contact Specialty Orthopaedics for a consultation. Call the office in Harrison, New York, at 914-686-0111 for an appointment today!