Chronic knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a lack or loss of this articulate surface cartilage. It can progresses into involvement with the surrounding bone, tissues, and synovial fluid, subsequently resulting in pain which is caused by inflammation of the tissue lining the knee joints.
- Osteoarthritis is one of the most common diseases of advanced age. This condition can result in pain and restricted movement of knee.
- Sometimes knee osteoarthritis follows an injury to the knee joint. For example, a young person might hurt his knee playing sports and years after the knee has healed, he might get arthritis in his knee joint.
- Some signs of inflammation include redness, heat, pain, and swelling. Many people start to feel pain and stiffness and sometimes their knees are hard to move and may become swollen.
- Symptoms of osteoarthritis include joint pain with activity, night pain, morning stiffness, limited motion, joint inflammation, crepitus or noise from the knee, and deformity.
- A thorough medical history and physical exam can usually identify any conditions that may be associated with the pain. The patient describes the onset, site, and severity of the pain; duration of symptoms and any limitations in movement; and history of previous episodes or any health conditions that might be related to the knee pain. The physician examines the knee and conduct neurologic tests to determine the cause of the knee pain and appropriate treatment. Blood tests may also be ordered. Imaging tests may be necessary to diagnose possible sources of the pain.
- Diagnostic methods are available to confirm the cause of knee pain and they include X-ray imaging or Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
- Applying hot compresses, heating pad or ice to the sore area to help reduce inflammation.
- Do exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee joints to prevent tension and stress on the knee. Increasing muscle strength will absorb the stress on the joints and decrease pressure otherwise placed on the joint, thus decreasing symptoms. These muscles act as shock absorbers for the pressure that daily activities and sports place on the knee joints.
- Anti-inflammatory medications may also help decrease symptoms by reducing inflammation around the knee joints.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
- Most patients with knee pain recover without residual functional loss, but individuals should contact a doctor if there is not a noticeable reduction in pain and inflammation of self-care, such as applying hot or cold compresses or taking anti-inflammatory medications.
- Seek immediate medical help if you have pain accompanied by fever and progressive weakness, as all of these symptoms may indicate a serious condition.
- Some people can benefit from surgery, such as joint replacement; however, there are nonsurgical managements.
- There is an option for those who do not meet criteria for knee joint replacement or simply do not want knee surgery. A Genicular Nerve Block /Ablation is a life-changing procedure which is perform in two phases; the nerve block followed by the nerve ablation. This can provide pain relief for six months to a year, essentially changing the person’s life and increasing their day-to-day functionality.