Knee Arthritis Symptoms and Treatment
Common Symptoms of Arthritis in the Knee
Of the three different types of arthritis, the most common type is osteoarthritis, which is arthritis developing from wear and tear. Here’s how experts treat patients with a comprehensive, individualised approach.
Arthritis symptoms and signs can vary for each individual, but the most common include:
- Pain and swelling; increases with activity
- Stiffness in the knee; particularly after long periods of inactivity like in the morning
- Decrease in mobility of the joint
- A cracking sound when moving your knee
Diagnosis of Arthritis in the Knee
Whenever a patient comes to an appointment with knee pain, they receive a thorough evaluation from the consultant. We believe that looking at the entire body (not just the joint where the pain is) can help to understand any other medical conditions that might affect treatment.
Additionally, having a better understanding of the patients’ goals and activity level are helpful considerations when developing a treatment plan. Any abnormalities, swelling or fluid in the joints, and the range of motion and strength of the muscles involved are all evaluated during the physical exam. Our consultants may recommend diagnostic tests; x-ray’s, MRI’s, CT Scans or ultrasounds as part of the process.
Treatment of Arthritis in the Knee
Osteoarthritis of the knee is often first treated with a non-operative treatment plan. This can include a wide variety of activities to aide with treatment, some of which includes home exercise, structured physiotherapy, bracing, walking aids, cortisone injection therapy, over the counter or prescription medication, or weight loss. There is no cure for arthritis, however we find ways a patient may be able to manage the symptoms through things such as modifying their activity or proper footwear.
Should a patient not respond to non-operative treatments or if other methods have failed to alleviate the pain, a surgical treatment tends to be the next step. A consultant will discuss surgical options which could include minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques, osteotomy, which is a procedure to realign the leg, or even a partial or total knee replacement for more severe cases.
After surgery, physiotherapy will help the patient regain their range of motion and their independence.
For more information on joint replacement options, make an appointment to see one of our consultant orthopaedic surgeons at UPMC Whitfield Hospital, UPMC Kildare Hospital, UPMC Aut Even Hospital, or UPMC Sports Surgery Clinic.