Does jogging not feel the same anymore? Has walking become more painful?
If so, you might have noticed your knees swelling or being more stiff. What you are experiencing might not be just any knee pain or temporary strain – it could be knee arthritis.
Arthritis is a group of diseases characterized by inflammation and tenderness in one or more joints, sometimes causing severe pain. It can affect any joint in the body. When it affects your knee, it can limit your mobility. Let’s talk about what arthritis involves and where you can go to find relief from your knee pain.
Main Types of Arthritis
There are over 100 types of arthritis, and a few of the most common types are the following:
Osteoarthritis occurs when there is wear-and-tear damage to the protective cartilage in a joint, and it thereby narrows the space between the bones – making you susceptible to bone-on-bone scraping as you move.
As the damage progresses, the bone friction can cause pain and swelling in the joint. This type of knee arthritis can affect people of virtually all ages, from active adults who often play golf or tennis to young athletes.
2. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder causing inflammation of the synovial lining in a joint, which causes pain and may result in deformities. It can also affect other parts of the body, such as the heart and lungs, so medical treatment is absolutely necessary with rheumatoid arthritis.
Gout is the result of a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints, tissues, and fluids in the body. Similar to other types of arthritis, gout also causes swelling and pain.
These three types of arthritis can affect the knees. However, osteoarthritis is the most common.
Symptoms of Knee Arthritis
The onset of the symptoms may begin suddenly or develop gradually over time, and it is not the same for everyone. Generally, the symptoms are as follows:
- Joint pain that does not go away or becomes worse
- Joints that ache and feel stiff after exercise or physical activity
- Joint stiffness, especially after periods of inactivity
- Joints with swelling and bumps
- Redness and warmth in the knee
- Popping or crunching sounds when moving
- Difficulty or pain when walking
If you are experiencing these symptoms, consult a doctor right away to get a proper diagnosis and to receive treatment as soon as possible. Other less-common symptoms of arthritis, like fever and deformity, warrant immediate medical attention.
Diagnosing Arthritis in the Knee or Other Joints
Diagnosing arthritis starts with a physical exam. However, correctly diagnosing the condition in its early stages can be tricky.
The following diagnostic tests can help your orthopedic doctor examine your joint closely and arrive at an accurate diagnosis:
- X-ray imaging can create images of your bones to show damage, cartilage loss, and bone spurs, and is often used to track arthritis progression.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) produces detailed cross-sectional images of tissues throughout the body, including tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan can create three-dimensional images of bones and surrounding tissues by combining X-ray images taken from different angles.
- Ultrasound produces images of soft tissues, bursae, and cartilage via high-frequency sound waves.
- Bone scan can detect the presence of arthritis by identifying areas of chemical and physical changes or abnormalities in the bone.
Arthritis Treatment in St. Peters and O’Fallon, MO
Frequent joint pain and aches are symptoms you should not ignore. If you start to feel arthritis symptoms or any joint pain, seek an evaluation from an orthopedic doctor right away. Ultimately, the best way to determine whether you have knee arthritis is to receive an accurate diagnosis from an orthopedic doctor.
Here at Advanced Bone & Joint, we have a team of experienced orthopedic doctors who can perform both nonsurgical and minimally invasive treatments for arthritis and other joint issues.
To find out more about our services, contact us today at (636) 229-4222 or request an appointment via our online form now. You deserve to get the most out of your life no matter your age, and you should not let joint pain get in the way.