Knee Osteoarthritis 101
Osteoarthritis of the knee is also known as “wear-and-tear” arthritis. It occurs when the natural cushioning (cartilage) that sits between the joints diminishes. As this condition progresses, the bones of the joints begin to rub against each other without the shock absorption provided by cartilage. As a result you begin to feel swelling, stiffness, pain, and a lessened ability to move.
Who is at risk?
The chance of developing osteoarthritis heightens following age 45. In the U.S. alone, over 27 million people have osteoarthritis, with the knee standing as one of the most commonly impacted areas. Women are more susceptible than men.
What is the cause?
Age, weight, genetics, gender, repetitive stress injuries, athletics and other illnesses can all cause osteoarthritis of the knee.
- Athletics: Those involved in long distance running, tennis, or soccer might be more prone to getting osteoarthritis of the knee. Regular and moderate exercise will enhance and strengthen joints, decreasing the possibility of osteoarthritis. If you have weak muscles surrounding the knee, you may be more likely to develop it.
- Repetitive stress injuries: People with jobs that include a lot of lifting, kneeling, or squatting are more susceptible to developing osteoarthritis due to constant joint pressure.
- Gender: Women who are over the age of 55 are more prone to developing osteoarthritis of the knee.
- Genetics: People can inherit abnormalities or have a genetic mutation that makes them more likely to get osteoarthritis of the knee.
- Age: As we age, the ability of cartilage to heal will decrease.
- Weight: If we are overweight, more pressure is put on the joints, particularly around the knees.
- Other illnesses: Those with rheumatoid arthritis or metabolic disorders are more likely to develop osteoarthritis of the knee.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of knee osteoarthritis include: swelling, sensing warmth near the joint, stiffness in the morning or throughout the day, a crackly sound when the knee moves, diminished mobility of the knee, and pain that increases with activity.
Arrange a consultation
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms connected to osteoarthritis of the knee, don’t hesitate to arrange a consultation with Napa Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics. You can reach our office by calling 707-258-2547, located in Napa, California.