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Knee Arthritis: A Closer Look

Osteoarthritis (OA) of the Knee


Knee arthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis and one of the most reported causes of knee pain. It is estimated that more than 10 million people in the U.S. alone have OA in one or both knees. Osteoarthritis is a cause of degenerative joint disease (DJD) in the knee.


If you have OA in your knee, the fluid (Synovial Fluid) that cushions and lubricates the joint can break down and lose the ability to cushion the knee. The cartilage protecting the ends of the bones can also deteriorate and then comes the dreaded saying “bone on bone” arthritis.


Osteoarthritis may be related to an injury or may develop with advancing age. Other types of arthritis may be related to infection, or an inflammation of the joint lining. There are three compartments in the knee that could develop arthritis:

  • Medial compartment (the inside)
  • Lateral compartment (the outside)
  • Patellofemoral compartment (the knee cap region)

Your arthritis could be in one, two or all three compartments.


Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

OA will typically gradually worsen over time. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain during movement and/or at rest
  • Grinding, popping, catching sensations in the joint
  • Giving way when walking
  • Stiffness and Joint swelling
  • Loss of motion of the knee


Treatment Options

There are several treatment options available to you for arthritis including:



  • over the counter pills such as Tylenol or anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen or Aleve as well as supplements like Glucosamine Chondroitin can be considered. Topical ointments can also help with the symptoms.


Steroid Injections-

  • Your provider may recommend this option for you to reduce pain and inflammation. Typically providers will limit the number of steroid injections due to the potential risk of cartilage damage with frequent, long term use.


Visco supplementation –

  • These “gel” injections are designed to lubricate the joint to provide relief of your arthritic pain by mimicking the synovial fluid in your joint. Typically insurance companies will not authorize this injection medication more than every 6 months.  For more information, go to Blog post: Rooster Parts in my Knee?



This option is considered when your knee pain is severe and other treatments have not provided relief.  Click here for more information regarding replacement procedures.



Click here to discover additional information regarding arthritis

Click here for information specifically on patellofemoral arthritis


For more specific information, please check with your provider.


Source and for additional information: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)