Degenerative arthritis or osteoarthritis is caused by inflammation, breakdown and eventual loss of the cartilage of the joints. Its severity varies with advancing age and its affects different individuals differently. This may also happen due to rheumatic disease or due to fracture through the joint.
Osteoarthritis affects the hands, feet, spine and large weight-bearing joints such as hips and knees. Most cases of osteoarthritis have no known cause. Obesity is a risk factor for knee osteoarthritis more commonly in females.
Knee joint is affected more
While walking and bearing weight
Inward bending leads to deformity of knees. It’s common due to
genetic genetic predisposition
Common symptoms of knee arthritis
Pain and swelling
Locking and instability of knee joint
Stretching of ligaments
Initially there may be joint stiffness – usually lasting more than 15 minutes – which gets relieved with rest. It is usually better in the morning but it worsens as the day progresses. In case of arthritis, there is some mild joint swelling and tenderness to touch. The joint may also feel warm but a joint that cracks and snaps doesn’t necessarily mean arthritis is present.
Avoiding squatting, kneeling or sitting on the floor
Reducing stair climbing
Use of wedges in shoes
Occasional use of pain relieving medicines
Taking pain killers is not a good solution as they may lead to disturbance while walking or performing daily activities. Excess intake may lead to gastric ulcers and kidney damage.
Surgery is considered when arthritis is moderate to severe when joint wear is visible through x-ray. Arthritis is manageable, but a planned and a judicious treatment is important and early diagnosis and treatment is required.