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HealthFix: Knee osteoarthritis

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Posted at 5:37 PM, Nov 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-20 19:37:09-05

Topic: Knee Osteoarthritis—Symptoms and treatment options

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage between the joints wears down overtime, causing the bones of the joints to rub closely against one another. This can result in pain, swelling, stiffness, decreased mobility, and, in more extreme cases, bone spur formation. The most common cause of knee osteoarthritis is age, but there are a number of factors that contribute to osteoarthritis, including heredity, sex, weight, repetitive stress injuries, and illnesses.

Symptoms of knee osteoarthritis

  • Pain during physical activity
  • Swelling
  • Warm to the touch over the joint
  • Knee stiffness, especially in the morning
  • Decrease in mobility
  • Creaking or crackling sound when the knee moves

Treatment options for knee osteoarthritis

  • Weight loss: Even a small amount of weight loss can significantly decrease knee pain
  • Strengthening muscles around the knee
  • Anti-inflammatory pain medication
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Support braces
  • Physical and occupational therapies
  • Surgery: When other treatment methods are not helping, surgery may be the best option
    • Arthroscopy
    • Osteotomy
    • Joint replacement surgery