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When Knee Pain May Mean Arthritis?

Arthritis is a situation wherein your joints become swollen and are infected. The knee as we know is the largest hinge joint in our body and is also the one joint that often gets affected by Arthritis. Any pain, stiffness or swelling at knees can be a warning sign of Knee Arthritis. While arthritis is mainly an adult disease, some other forms of this infection affect children too. It becomes hard for anyone suffering from Knee arthritis to perform the day to day activities.

What causes Knee Arthritis?
There can be many factors that cause Knee Arthritis for example, joints get worn over by the time you are in your late 40s or older. Also being overweight adds extra pressure on the knee joints and can worsen things. Another factor could be having siblings or parents having osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis. Any previous knee damage due to which the meniscus is ripped or the bone around joints is fractured or torn ligament could lead to Knee Arthritis.

Knee Anatomy
Types of Knee Arthritis
Knee Arthritis could be of many types but the major once could be as follows:
1. Osteoarthritis – Osteoarthritis is a wear and tear type of Arthritis occurring especially to people of 50 years and above. This is also the most common occurring Arthritis. What happens in this type of Arthritis is that the joint cartilage in our knee slowly wears away reducing the protective space between the bones and making it rough and frayed. As the cartilage gets destroyed, the bones of the knee joint start to rub against each other which causes the formation of bone spurs to develop on the end sides. These bone spurs are a common feature of Osteoarthritis and are very painful which ultimately leads to limiting a person’s knee movement.

2. Rheumatoid arthritis – Rheumatoid affects the multiple joints in the human body inclusive of the knee joints. It always affects the same joints on both sides of the body. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an inflammatory and chronic disease wherein the synovial membrane that covers the knee joint begins to swell which results in knee pain and stiffness. Rheumatoid is an autoimmune disease, i.e., the immune system attacks its tissues. The factor which causes Rheumatoid Arthritis is not known yet but genetic factors do play a role.

3. Post-traumatic arthritis – As the word itself says, “Post-Traumatic” means a form of Arthritis that develops after a knee injury. For instance, the joint surface gets damaged due to a broken bone and this leads to causing Arthritis years after the injury. Old injuries in knee and knee areas can cause post-traumatic arthritis. There may be painful swelling in the knee joint and this occurs years after a knee fracture, torn meniscus or ligament injury-causing instability which over the time may result in post-traumatic arthritis.

4. Gouty arthritis – When uric acid crystals get collected in the joints, it forms Gout. When body tissues break down, a waste product called Uric Acid is formed. When the Uric Acid forms tiny needle-like crystals and gathers in the knee joint, they trigger pain, inflammation, and swelling. There may be several factors that cause Gouty Arthritis such as biological inherence, being older, being obese, etc.

Knee Pain
Symptoms of Knee Arthritis:
Although the pain develops gradually over time, a knee joint affected by arthritis may become painful with or without activity. But there are other symptoms, as well:

 Joint may become swollen and stiff, causing trouble in bending and straightening the knee.
 Heavy or constant activity can cause a rise in pain and may worsen in the morning, or after resting or sitting.
 The knee freeze or lock during movement.
 May make sounds like creak, click, snap or even a grinding noise.
 Pain can be weather-related, for example, an increase in pain during monsoons.
 Redness or warmth in the knee joint area.

Preventive measures to keep your knees safe:
Inculcating a few lifestyle changes and techniques can help manage knee arthritis to some extent. Below are some tips:

1. Weight Loss: The less weight a joint has to carry, the healthier your knee stays.
2. Joint Protection: This means using joints in a less stressful way such as making changes in how you perform your activities, setting up changes in your personal space, wearing comfortable clothing and footwear, etc.
3. Exercise: Exercises improve the strength of our leg muscles which in turn leads to providing better support to your knees. Just simple and fast walking could help a lot.
4. Knee Replacement Surgery: Knee replacement surgery is among the most frequently performed orthopedic surgical operations. The weakened cartilage is extracted from the whole knee joint with a complete knee replacement, and a metal or plastic implant is replaced in place of it. This way the knee joint bones are smooth, allowing them to flex and bend freely without pain. Dr. Tejas Upasani has been a practicing orthopaedic & computer Assisted Joint Replacement surgeon, performing total knee replacement surgeries with excellent results for the past 12 years at Upasani Super Specialty Hospital.

knee joint pain
There is no treatment for knee arthritis but you can always reduce the chances of joint damage and minimize your risk to injury. If you think you may have arthritis in the knee, don't delay treatment. Consult with Dr. Tejas Upasani, one of our best Orthopaedic Surgeons at Upasani Super Speciality Hospital to develop a treatment plan.

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