Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Are you struggling with knee pain and stiffness? Discover effective treatments for osteoarthritis of the knee that can help you reclaim your mobility and comfort. Keep reading to learn more about osteoarthritis of the knee, its symptoms, and the treatment options available.

At Orthopedic Specialists & Sports Medicine in Granville and Coshocton, Ohio, our expert knee surgeons are passionate about helping our patients return to activity. Feel free to contact us to see how we can help you.

What is Osteoarthritis of the Knee?

Arthritis refers to inflammation of one or more of your joints. Arthritis usually also causes joint pain. A common form of arthritis that affects the knee is osteoarthritis.

Knee osteoarthritis is caused by a breakdown of the cartilage that covers the bone surfaces in the knee joint. This cartilage damage allows the bones to come in contact with each other, causing knee pain, swelling, and stiffness.

Treatments for knee osteoarthritis help slow down the wear and tear of the cartilage and relieve pain. In severe cases of osteoarthritis, surgery may be recommended.

What Causes Osteoarthritis of the Knee?

Osteoarthritis of the knee occurs when the cartilage in your knee joints wears out or is damaged. As the cartilage wears down, it becomes frayed and rough. This reduces the joint space and allows contact between bones. The friction between bones can cause the formation of bone spurs in the knee joint.

You have two types of knee joint cartilage: articular cartilage and meniscal cartilage. Articular cartilage covers the ends of your bones that lets you bend and move. Meniscal cartilage are the shock absorbers of your knee.

You are more likely to develop osteoarthritis of the knee if:

  • You’re overweight, as this adds extra pressure on your knee joint
  • You have a knee injury or an old knee injury
  • You use your knees excessively while playing sports or other activities
  • You work on your knees
  • You have a genetic disposition towards osteoarthritis of the knee
  • Your bones or joints are out of proper alignment.
A man with knee osteoarthritis in Newark, Ohio.

Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis

If you have osteoarthritis of the knee, you may have the following symptoms:

  • Knee pain when moving your knee joint or at rest
  • Your knee may be stiff, particularly after inactivity
  • You have swelling in your knee joint
  • You can feel or hear cracking or popping when you move your knee
  • Weakness that can make the joint feel unstable
  • Your knee could lock in a certain position

How is Osteoarthritis of the Knee Diagnosed?

At your appointment, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and consider your medical history. During the physical examination, your doctor will look for the following:

  • Pain or redness in your knee joint
  • Signs of a knee injury
  • Limitations in the range of motion
  • Instability of the knee joint
  • Gait problems


Your doctor may also order diagnostic tests, such as X-rays or blood tests. A blood test can rule out other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis. X-rays can show damage to bone surfaces, including the presence of bone spurs.

Treatments Available for Knee Osteoarthritis

Treatments for knee osteoarthritis provide pain relief and slow down the development of the condition. In the early stages of osteoarthritis, your doctor may encourage you to try non-surgical treatments.

Non-surgical Treatments

Non-surgical treatments for osteoarthritis of the knee include the following:

  • Pain medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Losing weight
  • Using a knee brace
  • Using orthotics such as insoles or special footwear
  • Cortisone (steroid) injections
  • Viscosupplementation

Surgical Treatments

At Orthopedic Specialists & Sports Medicine, our knee replacement surgeons offer several surgical treatments to treat severe cases of osteoarthritis of the knee.

Knee Replacement (Arthroplasty)

At Orthopedic Specialists & Sports Medicine, we offer various knee replacement procedures, including partial knee replacement, total knee replacement, and revision knee replacement.

During total knee replacement surgery, our surgeon begins by removing the damaged bone and cartilage from your knee. Then metal and plastic components will be inserted in place of the damaged parts. The replacement parts work similarly to a healthy knee so that you can get back to your regular activities.

A partial knee replacement may be recommended if arthritis or injury has only damaged one compartment (or side) of your knee joint. During this procedure, your knee specialist will remove and replace just the damaged tissue.

A revision knee replacement is used in cases where the original knee replacement fails or wears out. The faulty prosthetics are removed by the surgeon along with any damaged tissue. Then the new replacement parts are placed in position.

Unicondylar Knee Resurfacing

Unicondylar knee resurfacing is a procedure that focuses on only one component of the knee. This procedure is an alternative to total knee replacement, where just one area of the knee needs treatment.

Recovery

Your recovery time will depend on the type of surgery that you had. Physical therapy is usually recommended during recovery to strengthen your knee joint and restore the range of motion. You may also need to wear a knee brace or use crutches for a time.

Knee surgery has a high success rate of relieving knee pain, allowing patients to return to normal activity.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Ready to take the next step towards relieving your knee pain and improving your quality of life? Schedule an appointment with Orthopedic Specialists & Sports Medicine with a skilled knee replacement surgeon today!

Our expert team in Granville and Coshocton, OH, provides tailored treatments to help you to become active again. Don’t let knee osteoarthritis hold you back any longer. Reach out now and take control of your well-being!


Medically reviewed by
Edward L. Westerheide, M.D.