There are several causes of osteoarthritis in the knee. The first one is the history of acute injury to the medial knee for example, meniscal or ligament trauma. The next is a prolonged and excessive use of the knee joint. This is followed by the previous fracture at that site of the knee. The most significant one is obesity. The final one is the genetic, hereditary, factors.
Knee injuries are common among athletes, for example, who are often affected by injury in the knee ligaments that result in immediate knee pain. Runner’s knee is a condition that can affect anyone who continuously use his/her knees, for example running, jumping or cycling. It is perceived as a pain in the patella and can be caused by excessive use, trauma, abnormalities of the leg or foot bones and weak muscles.
Knee traumas can occur slowly due to osteoarthritis, for example. If you have problems with your hips or feet that force you to walk incorrectly, your knees may lose their alignment and cause trauma. If you have suffered a knee injury, even if minor, it is very likely that it will worsen and that the pain will recur in the future.
There are a few symptoms of arthritis in the knee and they are a deep aching pain in the inner knee that is worse after exercise; a stiffness is particularly found in most in the morning, however, lessens with movement; a swelling of the knee can occur; and a clicking or cracking noise is heard when moving the knee.
To diagnose osteoarthritis the clinician might:
- Assess the nature and severity of the pain.
- Measure the amount of movement in the joint.
- Take an X-ray of the knee- narrowing of the joint space is a good indicator of osteoarthritis. Bone spurs can also be seen on an X-ray.
- In some cases, an MRI scan may be necessary. This allows the clinician to see whether soft tissue changes have taken place within the joint.
- In certain cases, a blood sample may be necessary to rule out the presence of other types of types of arthritis.
As yet there is no cure for arthritis, however, a number of treatments can be put in place to slow the progression of the disease:
The use of knee supports and or braces is a helpful tool to those who have a hard time getting around. Valgus unloader braces have been proven to provide pain relief in some cases of medial compartment osteoarthritis, by reducing the load on that compartment.
Vitamins and supplements are also part of a treatment plan such as NSAIDs. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs such as ibuprofen, which can provide some temporary pain relief.
One of the biggest treatments available is one you can do on your own, lose weight. As obesity is associated with the onset of osteoarthritis, weight loss, if needed, can have a significant effect on slowing the disease’s progression.
Start an exercise program. A specific exercise program can help to maintain healthy cartilage and range of the motion of the joint. In addition, keeping the attaching muscles and tendons conditioned and strong will aide in the joint’s stability.
There are also muscle relaxants available. These are usually administered in low doses and can relieve pain that arises from muscles strained in an attempt to support osteoarthritic joints.
With the use of heat and cold treatments, you can relieve some of the pain, inflammation, and swellings. A local application of heat and cold can also help with relief from pain and inflammation after the exercise program you just started.
Another supplement you can use is the Viscosupplementation. A Visco supplement can be administered as an injection by a clinician. This substance helps to lubricate the knee joint and can decrease the amount of inflammation.
Knee Replacement is another treatment you can use if all else fails. Both of the half and total knee replacements are available in very advanced osteoarthritic knees.
Causes of Osteoarthritis In The Knee, Last Update: 20/6/2017