Over time or from injury, a patient can development degeneration of the knees. Arthritis is a general term used for conditions that cause joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. This occurs when the protective cartilage between bones start to wear. The bones may then rub together causing pain and stiffness.
Knee arthritis manifests as pain that is worse in the morning. People typically also have pain with increased activity especially with climbing or going down stairs.
There are several risk factors that lead to arthritis including age, genetics, previous injury and overuse of joints.
If knee arthritis is suspected there are several ways to diagnose this condition. Medical history and physical examination are helpful and x-rays can help determine if there is degeneration of the knee.
In addition, to arthritis, knee pain can be caused by soft issue insure including degeneration or tear of cartilage.
Treatment of knee arthritis includes: lifestyle modifications, oral anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. Interventional options include: Intra-articular steroid injections and hyaluronic acid gel injections (Synvisc, Orthovisc, Genvisc, Hyalgan, Hymovis). In addition to steroid and gel injections, PRP and stem cell injections can be a very effective treatment option.
Lastly, for very severe arthritis that not does respond to these treatment modalities the patient may be recommended to undergo knee replacement.