Osteoarthritis of the knee primarily arises from prolonged use of the knee joint, which is why it is commonly found in the elderly. This continuous use leads to a gradual wearing away of the knee cartilage. As the cartilage thins, the bones of the knee joint come into closer contact, resulting in intense pain. Some factors leading to premature osteoarthritis include:

  • Knee fractures leading to post-traumatic arthritis
  • Septic arthritis in knee joints
  • Various arthritis forms, such as rheumatoid arthritis

Signs and Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis

Individuals with osteoarthritis typically experience pain and discomfort in the knee, especially towards the back and the inner side. This pain usually intensifies with activities like walking or exercising, and is often accompanied by reduced knee mobility and stiffness. Some patients may notice their knee bones angling inwards or outwards, resulting in bowed knees. Everyday tasks like climbing stairs or standing up after sitting might become more challenging. If there's inflammation, the affected knee area might become warm, tender, and swell up. In advanced stages, there might be visible swelling and fluid-filled sacs near the joint.

Diagnosis of Knee Osteoarthritis

To diagnose osteoarthritis of the knee, doctors typically employ radiographs or MRI scans. These imaging techniques help assess the extent of cartilage degeneration, providing a clear picture of the condition's severity.

Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis of the Knee

The treatment strategy for knee osteoarthritis is largely determined by the severity of cartilage degeneration. For mild or initial stages, conservative treatments such as medications, physical therapy, hyaluronic acid injections, and platelet-rich plasma injections are generally effective. However, for cases with severe degeneration, surgical interventions might be necessary. These could range from realignment surgeries for patients with bowed knees to partial or total knee replacements for those with significant deterioration.