Knee arthritis

Knee arthritis

Knee ​Condition

Knee arthritis

Sometimes called “wear-and-tear” arthritis, osteoarthritis is a common condition that many people develop during middle age or older.

Osteoarthritis of the knee is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. The development of the disease is slow and the pain worsens over time.

Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are many treatment options available to help manage pain and keep people staying active.


Osteoarthritis is the most common degenerative disease of the knee. A healthy knee can bend and extend without difficulty, thanks to a soft and slippery tissue called articular cartilage, which covers, protects and cushions the ends of the bones that form the knee.

Between these bones, there are two C-shaped menisci (cartilage) that act as “buffers” of the knee joint. Osteoarthritis wears these cartilage.


Several factors increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis.

Age: The ability of the cartilage to repair itself may decrease with age. Osteoarthritis usually affects middle-aged and older people.

Heritage: A link between certain genes and osteoarthritis has been observed. Some inherited characteristics, such as having bowed legs, knocked knees or joint laxity, may increase your risk of having this disease.

Weight: The greater your weight, the greater the weight your knee joints support.

Injuries: A previous knee injury, such as a sports injury, may cause osteoarthritis in the future.

Excessive use: People who must kneel or bend over, lift heavy objects and walk as part of their work are more vulnerable to repeated stress injuries in the knee. This makes them more likely to develop osteoarthritis.

Other diseases: If you had other knee problems, such as gout, infection, or Lyme disease, you have an increased risk of osteoarthritis.


Osteoarthritis develops over time. When worn, the cartilage deteriorates and becomes rough. Then, when you move, you feel pain in the area that is not protected by cartilage.

To compensate for the loss of cartilage, damaged bones can begin to grow and form painful spurs.

Pain and stiffness are the most frequent symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.


Your doctor will develop a personalized treatment plan to relieve pain and reduce joint stiffness.

Lifestyle changes

If the pain does not interfere with your daily life, your doctor may recommend you to first make some lifestyle changes to protect your joints and reduce the progression of the disease:

  • Exercise.
  • Weightloss.
  • Physiotherapy.

If the pain affects your daily routine, or is not relieved by the initial methods, your doctor may incorporate some medication into your treatment plan:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Food supplements.
  • Steroid injections.
  • Viscosupplements

Your doctor may consider surgery if your pain worsens and is incapacitating

Arthroscopy: This procedure can be used to remove small pieces of detached or torn cartilage, or to smooth the surface of worn cartilage. The more advanced the osteoarthritis, the less effective the arthroscopy.

Osteotomy: A cut is made in the bones surrounding the knee to realign them and eliminate pressure in the knee joint.

Joint replacement: Joint replacement can be total or partial. The entire knee joint or damaged parts are removed and replaced by an artificial device (joint prosthesis).