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Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Often referred to as OA, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It most often occurs in middle-aged and older adults but can occur at any age if the joint has been damaged because of previous fractures or some type of childhood disorder. It is a progressive, degenerative disease and usually affects the large weight-bearing joints of the lower extremities, including hips and knees, but can often affect the spine, neck and hands.

Causes of osteoarthritis

The causes of osteoarthritis are simply not known at this time. What we do know is there are many factors which can increase your risk of developing it. Things like obesity, muscle weakness, heredity, previous joint injuries, childhood disorders, repetitive motion and aging all enter into the equation of why it can occur.

Symptoms of osteoarthrisis

Pain, swelling or stiffness in the joint are some of the most common symptoms. In early stages, pain may only be felt during activity, but as the cartilage wears away and the bones of the joint rub against each other the pain can become more severe and constant even during times when you are not moving.

Treatment options for osteoarthritis

You and your physician may try several non-surgical measures to relieve your knee pain and inflammation. These may include weight loss, exercise and physical therapy. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements and anti-inflammatory medications may also help.

If non-surgical treatment is unsuccessful, you and your physician may decide that knee surgery is the best option to help you regain your quality of life.

The information listed on this site is for informational and educational purposes and is not meant as medical advice. Every patient's case is unique and each patient should follow his or her doctor's specific instructions. Please discuss nutrition, medication and treatment options with your doctor to make sure you are getting the proper care for your particular situation. The information on this site does not replace your doctor's specific instructions.