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Knee Arthritis

  • What is Knee Arthritis?

    Knee Arthritis results from thinning of the cartilage of the knee joint, usually due to injury or ‘wear and tear’ (ageing).

    There are three kinds of Knee Arthritis:

    • Osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease that occurs as you age. This is the most common form
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which your body’s immune system attacks the joint
    • Post-Trauma Arthritis, caused by direct trauma to the knee that damages the cartilage and changes the joint mechanics
  • The causes of Knee Arthritis include:

    • Being overweight
    • Excessive wear and tear of knee joints from high-impact activities
    • Increasing age
    • Previous knee injury
    • Tight lower limb muscles
    • Weak lower limb muscles
  • The symptoms of Knee Arthritis include:

    • Bumps or ‘nodes’ around the knee
    • Cracking or grinding (crepitus) when moving your knee
    • Joint instability — The knee ‘giving way’
    • Knee pain that develops gradually, and worsens with prolonged walking or standing
    • Morning stiffness and/or swelling
  • Treatment includes:

    • Exercise to help maintain the strength of your muscles and ligaments to stabilise your joints
    • Medicines:

      • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs for rheumatoid arthritis
      • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness in osteoarthritis
      • Steroids which can occasionally be injected directly into the joint to relieve pain and swelling
    • Physiotherapy for exercises to stabilise the joint
    • Surgery to correct joint deformity or to replace a badly damaged joint
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