As the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) affects millions of people worldwide. This type of arthritis occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones in a joint gradually wears down. This can be due to normal wear-and-tear over time, injury, joint overuse (such as while playing sports), or obesity.
Once the cartilage wears down in a joint, bone rubs against bone during movement. This is sometimes called “bone-on-bone,” and it results in pain, swelling, and limited range of motion.
Although osteoarthritis can occur in any joint in your body, it is particularly impactful when it affects your knees. Knee arthritis makes it difficult to stand, sit, or walk without discomfort, and it can cause limping.
The symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knees are simple enough to recognize. Let’s talk about three major consequences of knee arthritis, and where you can go in Raleigh to get pain-free knees back again.
Major Effects of Knee Arthritis
Osteoarthritis of the knee can have physical, social, and psychological repercussions:
- Physical impact –Inflammation inside a knee joint due to osteoarthritis might cause knee pain during or after movement. The pain often forces people who have knee arthritis to favor the less-painful leg in order to ease discomfort and to reduce the risk of the joint giving way.Because knee pain can cause a feeling of instability, sufferers of knee arthritis can be more prone to falls and therefore may require supportive aids, such as using a cane, walker, or wearing a knee brace.
- Social impact – Those who have knee osteoarthritis may find regular employment or participation in activities difficult due to constant pain and joint instability. As a result of this unpredictable pain and disability, arthritis patients may also experience social isolation due to a fear of participating in activities.
- Psychological impact – Those who have knee osteoarthritis can develop a cumulative effect of chronic pain combined with a feeling of isolation, which can lead to anxiety and depression. This causes feelings of tension, worry, and irritability, and can induce physical changes – such as increased blood pressure.The resulting lack of interest in participating in daily activities can lead to weight loss or weight gain, sleeplessness or excessive sleeping, a lack of energy, and an inability to concentrate.
How Can Knee Arthritis Be Fixed?
The encouraging news is that the pain and disability of osteoarthritis of the knee can be controlled or alleviated in a variety of ways. Treatment options include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for temporary pain relief
- Physical therapy
- Heat and cold therapy
- Physician-administered pain-relief injection therapy
- Wearing a knee brace for support
- Weight loss
- Knee replacement surgery
Knee Osteoarthritis Relief in Raleigh, Cary, Apex, and Brier Creek, North Carolina
Relief from the pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited mobility that comes with knee osteoarthritis can start with a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Brett Gilbert. Dr. Gilbert, who is board-certified in orthopedic surgery and completed his fellowship in hip and knee replacement surgery, can efficiently evaluate your knee pain and explain your best treatment options.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gilbert, call our friendly staff today at (919) 788-8797 or fill out our convenient Request an Appointment form online now. We look forward to helping you achieve the active, pain-free lifestyle you enjoy!