What Causes Knee Pain?
Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of knee pain in the United States. It occurs when the cartilage and bone underneath wear down over time. Studies estimate that over half of people will develop knee osteoarthritis over their lifetime.1
A knee with osteoarthritis is not able to bend and function as well as a healthy knee. When osteoarthritis sets in, the smooth and slippery tissue that covers and cushions the ends of bones, called cartilage, becomes frayed and wears away. Over time, the progression of osteoarthritis can lead to increased pain and reduced mobility.
Osteoarthritis symptoms include pain and stiffness. This is commonly described as an aching pain, like pain experienced after a long walk. Symptoms may be more noticeable in the morning or after a long period of rest. Osteoarthritis, or “wear and tear” arthritis, often affects people in their middle-ages and beyond.
How Does Osteoarthritis Affect Your Knee?
Osteoarthritis develops slowly over many years. As the disease progresses bone-on-bone contact can occur, which can cause the damaged bones to grow outward and develop painful deformities. Pain from osteoarthritis can range from mild to severe depending on the progression of the disease and your tolerance for pain.
Healthy knee with evenly spaced joint area (no osteoarthritis).
Knee with inside compartment wear and tear (medial osteoarthritis).
Knee with complete bone-on-bone wear and tear.
What Are The Leading Causes of Knee Osteoarthritis?
Diagnosis and Treatment of Osteoarthritis.
If you have knee pain, it is best to consult with a physician to determine what can be done. When you meet with one of our NAVIO certified physicians, you will likely be asked when the symptoms started, whether they have gotten worse over time, and how you feel doing certain activities. The physician will likely ask about you and your family’s medical history. It is also common to perform a physical examination to check your knee reflexes and mobility.
X-rays will be ordered to confirm that you have osteoarthritis. X-rays can show how much osteoarthritis wear has occurred and whether the osteoarthritis is located in one area of the knee or if it has progressed to multiple areas.
Once it is determined you have osteoarthritis, there are many treatment options that can help manage the pain and keep you active. Here at Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery (CMIS), our physicians are dedicated to working closely with you to develop a personal treatment plan designed to help relieve your knee pain and stiffness.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arthritis-Related Statistics , //www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/arthritis-related-stats.htm, Accessed 9.5.16