Redwood Orthopaedic Surgery Associates | Santa Rosa, CA

What can you do about knee arthritis?

Climbing stairs and walking your dog are a couple of everyday activities we easily take for granted when we have healthy knees. If you have experienced the pain, swelling and stiffness of knee arthritis, then you may find yourself avoiding the routine activities that you typically do. It’s important to learn what causes knee arthritis, how you can reduce your chances of experiencing it, and treatment options to get you back to the activities you love.

Causes

There are two types of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is when the body’s own immune system attacks the joints in the body, including the knee. Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of knee arthritis. This is the wear and tear on the knee caused by a lifetime of walking, running and jumping.

Other factors can contribute to arthritis of the knee. Obesity increases pressure and wear on the joints, causing the cushioning cartilage to break down faster than people who are at or near their ideal weight.

Overuse of certain joints is another contributing factor to developing osteoarthritis. Bending your knees all day for your job will lead to your joints wearing out more quickly.

If you’ve injured a joint before, that joint has a higher risk of becoming arthritic. People who participate in heavy-impact sports such as gymnastics also find they have an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis.

Genetics are to blame for the reason why osteoarthritis shows up in people in their 20s. Certain diseases can increase the odds of developing arthritis.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you’ve experienced the symptoms of knee arthritis, then you should seek diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor will begin with a physical examination and then follow with other tests. This includes joint aspiration to test the fluid for evidence of crystals or joint deterioration, X-ray and MRI to see damage and changes in the joint.

If you’re diagnosed with arthritis, your doctor may recommend a combination of lifestyle changes, assistive devices, medication, steroid injections or surgery.

If you believe you’re developing arthritis of the knee or want to get your knee pain diagnosed and treated to get you back to enjoying your favorite activities, call us at 707.544.3400 to make an appointment.

Posted in: Knee Treatment

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