Knee Joint Arthritis

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What is arthritis?

Arthritis is the progressive loss of articular cartilage of a joint leading to decrease in space of the joint between the two bones that make up the joint, and can lead to the breakdown of the underlying bone.

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How do I know which type of arthritis I have?

There are different types of arthritis, the most common occurring are:
-Rheumatoid arthritis
-Reactive arthritis

What are the symptoms of knee arthritis?

-aching pain that can worsen with overuse
-activity induced swelling
-knee stiffness that is most pronounced during rest
-can have decreased range of motion of the knee
-sometimes knee arthritis can lead to degenerative tears of meniscus in the knee joint, which can cause symptoms of instability, locking of knee joint during movement, or a “catching” sensation. If you are experiencing these symptoms, we recommend evaluation.
-If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, we recommend seeing a provider for immediate evaluation to help determine what type of arthritis you are experiencing:
-fever and chills
-redness or heat of the joint
-severe pain of joint

What tests can be done to show if I have arthritis?

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-weight-bearing x-rays of the affected knee are the recommended view
-it is important for these x-rays to be done as weight bearing to allow your provider to visualize the joint space when the weight of your body is on the joint
-MRI is generally not a necessary test for arthritis diagnosis and management. MRI is useful as a surgical planning tool to further evaluate other anatomy of the joint such as tendon, muscle, and meniscus.
-Sometimes further work-up is needed for diagnosis. This can include blood tests or removing fluid from the joint with a needle to check for infection, autoimmune markers, or uric acid levels.

What medication is helpful for knee arthritis?

This is a good question to discuss with your primary care physician. Certain medical conditions help us to determine what the best options for medication are for each individual.

Over the counter options:

-Tylenol (acetaminophen)
-Aleve (Naprosyn)
-Advil (ibuprofen)
-topical capsaicin

What are treatment options for knee arthritis?

-regular physical activity
-weight reduction if BMI >25
-otc medications
-bracing (your provider can help you determine which brace would best suit you)
-topical anti-inflammatory creams
-intra-articular corticosteroid injections
-hyaluronic acid injections
-PRP- platelet rich plasma injections

Does physical therapy help knee arthritis?

A formal physical therapy program is first line treatment for all symptomatic patients. Studies show that a combination of both supervised program with a licensed physical therapist and continued home exercise program specific to condition have shown the best results overall for symptomatic patients. Swift Urgent Clinic includes onsite physical therapy with trained physical therapists in joint, orthopedic, musculoskeletal and spine rehab.