Published: Nov. 11, 2010
Updated: Dec. 29, 2010
Knee arthritis is a form of arthritis commonly found in patients 50 years of age and older, as well as in overweight patients.
The most common cause of knee arthritis is osteoarthritis, though rheumatoid arthritis and injury can also cause arthritis in the elbow:
Other contributing factors include:
Knee arthritis is unique in that symptoms do not necessarily progress with time. Patients often report good months and bad months, and symptoms tend to fluctuate with weather conditions.
The most common symptoms of knee arthritis are pain with activities, loss of range of motion, stiff or swollen joints, tenderness along the joint, buckling or locking knees, and weakness of knees.
Typically your doctor will perform a physical examination that focuses on your walk, the range of motion, and joint swelling or pain.
X-rays may also be used to assist in determining the type of arthritis or ruling out possible underlying conditions.
Modifying activities, taking anti-inflammatory medicines, oral glucosamine supplements, and physical therapy may help to manage pain and other symptoms.
For overweight patients, weight loss may be recommended to relieve extra pressure on the joints. Walking aids, such as a cane or single crutch, and injections such as cortisone can also help relieve symptoms.
When nonsurgical treatments are no longer effective, surgery may be considered. Surgeries include:
Watch an educational video about treatments for knee arthritis.