What is it?

Osteoarthritis of the knee happens when the cartilage in your knee joint breaks down, enabling the bones to rub together. The friction makes your knees hurt, become stiff and sometimes swell. While osteoarthritis in the knee can’t be cured, there are many treatments to slow its progress and ease your symptoms. Surgery is an option for more severe forms of osteoarthritis.

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Signs & symptoms

Pain is the most common symptom of osteoarthritis in the knee. Your knee might hurt when you move it, or even when you are just sitting still. Other symptoms are:
* Your knee feels stiff, particularly when you first get up or when you’ve been sitting for a long time.
* Your knee looks swollen or feels puffy.
* You hear a cracking or grinding noise when you move your knee.
* Your knee feels wobbly, as if it could buckle or “give out."
* Your knee might lock up, or feel as if it is stuck.


Your healthcare provider will do a physical examination and ask about your medical history. The physical examination might include checks to see:
* If your knee joint area is red or sore.
* If there’s a sign you injured your knee.
* How much you can move your knee. This is called your range of motion.
* If your knee feels "loose," which can mean your joint isn’t stable.
* The way you walk, in case you have gait problems that affect your knee. A gait problem is when you don’t walk as you would normally.

Also, there are several tests that healthcare providers use to diagnose this condition:
* X-ray.
* Magnetic resonance imagery (MRI).
* Blood tests.
* Joint aspiration (arthrocentesis).


Treatment might include nonsurgical treatments, injections and surgery. Typically, healthcare providers try non-surgical treatments before recommending surgery.
Non-surgical treatments include:
* Using pain medications.
* Doing physical therapy.
* Maintaining a healthy weight.
* Using a knee brace.
* Using orthotics such as insoles or special footwear.
* Cortisone (steroid) injections.
* Viscosupplementation.

Surgical treatments include:
* Cartilage grafting. Healthy cartilage is used to fill a hole in your cartilage.
* Knee osteotomy.
* Partial knee replacement.
* Total knee replacement.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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