Arthritis of the knee is most often osteoarthritis. In this disease, the cartilage in the joint gradually wears away. This is caused from use overtime, previous trauma or injuries to the area and excess weight. If this is hard to understand, think of what would happen to a pair of pants if you wore them daily for 10 – 20 years. Certain areas would wear out; this is similar to what happens with your joints as you get older.
- Pain and swelling
- Locking of the joint
- Sensation of grinding or clicking
Medications to reduce pain such as aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol*); nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Ibuprofen or Aleve. Exercise to restore joint movement and strengthen the knee. Losing excess weight. Cortisone injections when pain is severe or lubricant injections if unable to take NSAIDS. Surgery to clean up the loose cartilage and remove loose bodies may be helpful in early arthritis. In a person with severe arthritis where bone is rubbing on bone and no cartilage is left, a joint replacement may be the best option. Learn more about Knee Replacement procedures.