Knee arthritis is one of the most common orthopedic conditions that cause pain in the knee. The pain is caused by the thinning of cartilage that covers the ends of bones, causing them to rub together in the knee joint. Cartilage is what allows for a smooth and gliding movement of the knee.
Arthritis is best treated in its early stages so that you and your doctor can work on ways to slow the progression of the disease. One of the goals of arthritis treatment is to avoid or delay the need for surgery and maintain your natural knee joint for as long as possible.
Since early treatment of arthritis is recommended, it is important to know how to recognize the symptoms of knee arthritis, so you can take action and have more non-surgical treatment options available to you.
Signs and Symptoms of Knee Arthritis
Here are the most common signs and symptoms of knee arthritis to look out for:
- Pain – Chronic knee pain is usually one of the first indications that something isn’t right with the knee. Some sufferers even experience shooting pains up and down the leg when they move their knee in certain ways or put pressure on it during physical activity.
- Warmth–Many times, those who suffer from knee arthritis feel warmth coming off their sore joint during periods of pain and inflammation. This is common among those with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Swelling – Oftentimes, swelling will accompany pain when it comes to knee arthritis, as the joint lining becomes inflamed due to cartilage damage.
- Stiffness – Joints affected by arthritis tend to become stiff due to inflammation. Stiffness due to knee arthritis is typically worse in the mornings or after periods of inactivity.
- Cracking Sounds During Movement–A “crunching” noise, which is also called crepitus, is sometimes heard when someone with knee arthritis moves around. It normally occurs due to cartilage breaking apart within the knee cavity, resulting in bone grinding against bone.
- Instability – Since the weakened and painful knee has trouble holding up the person’s body weight, many individuals with knee arthritis find themselves struggling to maintain balance while performing simple tasks like getting up from standing and lowering themselves to sit down.
If you have symptoms of knee arthritis, it is important to seek medical attention from an orthopedic surgeon. This type of doctor specializes in diagnosing, treating, and preventing musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis, and can recommend an appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs.
Knee Arthritis Treatment in San Antonio, TX
The orthopedic surgeons at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine are highly skilled and experienced in knee arthritis treatments. We have in-office treatments that provide pain relief and increase lubrication in your knee joint. We are also trained in minimally invasive treatments such as arthroscopic surgery and arthroplasty, or knee replacement.
Dr. Raymond E. Skunda is our board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the knee. Dr. Skunda will determine which treatment methods will bring you lasting relief from your symptoms. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (210) 692-7400, or use our convenient online request form.