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Knee Arthritis

  • What is Knee Arthritis?

    Knee arthritis results from thinning of the cartilage of the knee joint, usually due to injury or wear and tear from overuse or ageing.

    There are 3 kinds of knee arthritis:

    • Osteoarthritis – a degenerative disease that occurs with age and is the most common form
    • Rheumatoid arthritis – an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the joint
    • Post-trauma arthritis – caused by direct injury to the knee which damaged the cartilage and changed the joint mechanics
  • The causes of knee arthritis include:

    • Being overweight
    • Prolonged wear and tear of knee joints from high-impact activities
    • Ageing
    • Previous knee injury
    • Tight lower limb muscles
    • Weak lower limb muscles
  • The symptoms of knee arthritis include:

    • Bumps or nodes (swelling) around the knee
    • Cracking or grinding (crepitus) when moving the knee
    • Joint instability – the knee gives way
    • Knee pain that develops slowly and worsens with long periods of walking or standing
    • Morning stiffness and/or swelling
  • Treatment includes:

    • Physiotherapy exercises to maintain the strength of the muscles and ligaments that stabilise the joints
    • Medicines:

      • Disease-modifying, anti-rheumatic drugs for rheumatoid arthritis
      • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness in osteoarthritis
      • Steroids that are injected directly into the joint to relieve pain and swelling
    • Surgery to correct joint deformity or to replace a badly damaged joint
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