Arthritis in Knee
Nowadays, there has been an increase in the number of people suffering from knee pain. There are several causes of this condition ranging from tendonitis to bursitis to arthritis and so on. The pain caused due to an inflamed media plica is considered arthritis in knee. It is necessary to have a clean understanding of the basic anatomy of the knee in order to understand this kind of knee pain.
The knee is a joint that consists of four bones and they are the femur or the upper leg bone; the tibia or the larger of two lower leg bones; the patella or the knee cap and the fibula or the smaller of the two lower leg bones. Almost all the interacting or articulating bases of the knee bones are completely covered with hyaline cartilage layer. Hyaline cartilage is basically a very tough gristle type that helps in shock absorption and cushioning. There is a joint capsule that encloses this entire knee mechanism. It is also to be noted that synovium which is a tissue lining the joint capsule offers lubrication and nourishment to the joint.
What is Knee Arthritis?
Knee arthritis is a degenerative joint problem that can result in the breakdown of the cartilage that exists between the knee joints. The breakdown of the cartilage results in excessive pain, bone damage and complete loss of motion. There are several causes of arthritis of the knee and these include repeated injury, excessive weight gain and joint deformity. There is no treatment for this problem and thus the sufferers need to have their focus on treatment for reduction of pain and continued joint damage.
And there are different varieties of arthritis in knee and these include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis. Among all the three types of knee arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common one. It is a progressive issue that slowly results in the wearing away of the joint cartilage. Aged individuals tend to suffer from osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is basically an inflammatory issue that can happen at any age. Post traumatic arthritis of the knee develops after the knee is injured severely. People can suffer from more than one type of knee arthritis at a time. Therefore, it is always very important to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and successful treatment.
Symptoms of Arthritis in Knee
Some of the most common signs of knee arthritisare as follows:
Increase in Knee Pain
Knee paincaused due to arthritis can increase all of a sudden. However, it has the likelihood of developing very slowly. Initially, the patients might experience pain early in the morning or after they have been inactive for some time. The knees might hurt while climbing stairs, kneeling or when standing up after sitting for some time. Walking might also result in acute pain. Most of the times, patients might feel the pain even when they are sitting. Weather changes can also elevate arthritis pain in the knee area. Pain that can wake up an individual from sleep should be considered a sign of osteoarthritis.
Tenderness or Swelling
Periodic inflammation is another sign of arthritis of the knee. This can basically be the result of the formal of osteophytes or bone spurs. These are extra fluids that get accumulated in the knee area. This condition might get aggravated if a person remains inactive for a very long time. The knee skin might feel warm and appear red due to swelling and tenderness. Chronic knee inflammation that does not go away even with the intake of over-the-counter medications and anti-inflammatory drugs is a sure shot sign of arthritis of the knee.
Locking and Buckling
With time, the muscles of your knees might get weak and the whole joint system might become completely unstable. This can result in the knee giving away or buckling. It is also possible for the joint to lock up or stick making it unable for the patient to straighten or bend it. These symptoms of arthritis in knee keep coming and going.
Knee arthritis can make it quite challenging for the knee joints to move on smoothly making simple movements impossible or rather difficult. The sufferers might notice a limited range of movement while participating in different sport activities or while climbing stairs. As the condition worsens, it gets more difficult for the knee joints to work normally making it harder for the sufferers to perform daily activities. There are times when the sufferers might have problems in walking without a walker or a cane.
Popping or Cracking Sounds
Grinding sensation in the knee area can also be taken as a major sign of knee arthritis. The patients might also hear popping and cracking sounds coming from the knee area. These are signs that occur when the sufferers lose some part of the cartilage that assists with proper movement. The grinding and the noises in the knee area are because of the rubbing of the bone spurs and the rough surfaces while the joints move.
Chronic arthritis can result in complete change in the appearance of the knee. The condition can result in a sunken appearance of the knee because of the thinning and the weakening of the muscles that surround the knees. Patients might also find their knee bending outward or pointing towards each other. Nee deformities can range from being hardly noticeable to debilitating and severe.
While pain, stiffness, soft swellings, hard swellings and crepitus or the crunching, grinding and creaking sensation in the knee are some major signs of arthritis of the knee; hindered movement of the knee, wasted or thin muscle around the knee joint and weak joint structure are some minor symptoms of the condition in question. Pain caused due to the arthritis in knee might vary from one person to another depending on how active an individual has been.