Knee Arthritis is present in three basic forms. They are Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Post-traumatic Arthritis and Osteoarthritis (OA). The most commonly occurring Knee Arthritis is Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis progresses slowly where the joint cartilage get worn away gradually and hence called degenerative disease.
This kind of knee Arthritis mostly has impact on the old-age people as well as on the middle age people. It is otherwise called as wear and tear arthritis or degenerative joint disease. Here, the cartilage that exists for protecting the joint will get worn away and the bone is exposed in the joint.
Most Common Causes of Knee Arthritis
Age and Over-weight
Knee Arthritis is mostly observed in people above 50 years of age. This disease is commonly seen in overweight patients. The reduction in weight gradually decreases the knee arthritis symptoms. The age factor and heavy weight are also the causes of knee Arthritis.
Knee Arthritis is found to be present and developed in the people who have this problem in their families earlier. Genetic predisposition is one of the causes of knee Arthritis.
Damage to the Knee
Any previous knee injury can lead to Arthritis. Any bone fracture surrounding the joint and damage to the ligament can lead to knee Arthritis. For instance, Tibial plateau fracture is a condition where the broken bone pierces the cartilage of the knee joint.
People doing certain jobs like construction jobs, assembly line worker jobs are mostly prone to knee Arthritis.
Some of the high level sports might create the risk of developing Arthritis. The joint injury and Arthritis can occur subsequently due to the participation in sports.
If there is any infection in the joints or if there are any multiple episodes of gout or any medical condition can lead to knee arthritis.
Symptoms of the Knee Arthritis
The pain at the front region of the knee is usually associated with the knee cap. The pain at the knee cap can be due to many other problems. The pain inside the knee region can be caused by MCL injuries, medial meniscus tears and arthritis.
The pain at the outside of the knee region or at the lateral side usually results from IT band tendonitis, lateral meniscus tears, arthritis and LCL injuries. The pain at the knee backside is due to the fluid accumulation known as Baker’s cyst.
The pain that results when the person is going down stairs is mostly due to the problems associated with the kneecap. This is also called as chondromalacia. The pain is observed in the morning when the person wakes up from the bed. This pain will settle down gently after the person starts to do his daily activities slowly.
If an effusion results just after the knee injury, then a severe damage might have occurred to the anterior cruciate ligament or fracture in the shin bone. If the swelling develops slowly from few hours till few days after the injury, the condition might be just due to a ligament sprain and is less severe.
If the swelling has not resulted from an injury, then it can be due to the osteoarthritis or gout or inflammatory arthritis or infection in the joint.
The mobility of the knee will become limited mostly due to arthritis although several other common reasons might cause reduced knee mobility. If arthritis is responsible for the irregularities on the joint surface, then the limited mobility might also be due to arthritis.
The ligaments that are connecting the shin bone and thigh bone provide the stability to the knee. In case the ligaments tear away, it appears to the person that the knee is giving way.
Popping or Clicking
Popping within the knee is a common thing felt by everyone. Popping does not involve any problem. If the popping is painless there will not be any problem. If the pops are painful, they must be evaluated by the physician. Pops are usually observed at the time of any injury when a ligament like ACL is torn.
In the case of the condition called chondromalacia, the cartilage is damaged. When the hand is placed on the knee and bent on the kneecap, a crunching sensation is felt. The grinding sensation is also felt at the knee region when the person is suffering from knee arthritis.
If the knee cannot be bent or straightened, then it is the locking symptom. Locking happens because of physical inhibition of the movement of the knee or due to the normal knee movement for preventing pain.
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