Knee Arthritis

Knee Arthritis Overview

Knee arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects many patients. The disease is progressive, which means unpleasant initial symptoms gradually become worse if the disease is not properly treated. An appointment with a Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates’ (CONA) knee specialist should be made as soon as knee arthritis symptoms present.

Symptoms & Causes

Knee arthritis symptoms include:

  • Difficulty bearing weight
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Weakness
  • Giving way of the knee

Knee arthritis causes include:

  • Age
  • Injury
  • Overuse
  • Traumatic accidents (early onset arthritis)

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options decrease symptoms and slow down or stop disease progression. After a thorough evaluation, a CONA shoulder specialist may recommend:

  • A knee brace or assistive device
  • Activity modification
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy
  • Weight loss
  • Injections

A corticosteroid injection may be offered for fast-acting pain and inflammation relief while other treatment options begin to work. A partial or total knee replacement may be recommended for severe arthritis that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment. A CONA specialist removes arthritic bone and cartilage and replaces it with a perfect fit prosthesis to create a new joint.

Diagnosis:

A CONA specialist uses a detail-oriented diagnostic approach. Questions about the patient’s medical history, injuries and symptoms are asked. A complete physical examination of the knee is performed. Multiple view non-weight-bearing and weight-bearing x-rays are ordered and analyzed.

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