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Arthritis of the Knee

Arthritis of the KneeThe onset of arthritis in the knee or rheumatoid arthritis, whether due to natural aging or inherited predispositions, is frequently inevitable. However, seeking treatment for arthritis of the knee at Pro Spine & Pain offers a highly effective route towards alleviating pain and enhancing your daily activities. Rather than succumbing to discomfort and limitations, take proactive steps by reaching out to the specialized pain management professionals at any of our five convenient locations in Wisconsin: Kenosha, Waukesha, Layton, Franklin, and Madison. Schedule a consultation today and get back to enjoying every aspect of your life without delay.

Arthritis in the Knee

The deterioration of cartilage within your knee joint is specific to the type of arthritis you have.

Various forms of knee arthritis exist, each with its own distinct characteristics:

  • Degenerative joint disease and osteoarthritis stand as prominent examples of this deterioration, characterized by the gradual erosion of cartilage, ultimately resulting in the knee pain caused by bone-on-bone friction that is a hallmark feature of this disorder.
  • Post-traumatic arthritis is an early manifestation of OA in the knee, typically arising from injuries sustained in accidents or high-impact sports. Neglecting minor knee conditions can escalate into significant damage to connective tissues, particularly common among athletes.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis in the knee presents as an autoimmune condition, causing inflammation of the knee joint. This inflammatory process erodes knee cartilage and disrupts the smooth movement of the joint.

At Pro Spine & Pain, our expert pain management specialists utilize state-of-the-art medical equipment to meticulously diagnose the root cause of your problem, ensuring your treatment is precisely tailored to your specific needs.

Symptoms of Arthritis in the Knee

Symptoms of knee arthritis tend to manifest gradually over time, often including:

  • Crepitus: This is characterized by a variety of sounds emanating from the arthritic knee, such as crunching, grinding, snapping, or clicking noises, indicative of cartilage damage.
  • Mobility Issues: Stiffness and discomfort typically make movement of the knee challenging and painful.
  • Pain: Often exacerbated by cold weather conditions, discomfort in the joint becomes persistent with activity-induced OA pain flare-ups stemming from bone-on-bone friction.
  • Weakness: Instability and loss of strength in the knee can be attributed to cartilage breakdown, leading to buckling or locking sensations and hindering smooth bone movements.
  • Inflammation: Localized redness and swelling around the affected knee, symptomatic of an inflammatory reaction or possible infection, contributes to discomfort and functional impairment.

By addressing these symptoms comprehensively, our team at Pro Spine & Pain endeavors to provide tailored treatment strategies, restoring comfort and mobility to your daily life.

Complications of Knee Arthritis

Knee arthritis is a debilitating condition that significantly impairs the function of one of your body’s crucial joints.
Left untreated, it can lead to various complications, including:

  • Chondrolysis: The erosion of articular cartilage results in the presence of loose tissue within the joint.
  • Avascular Necrosis (AVN): This serious condition occurs when bone cells die as a result of reduced blood supply, eventually leading to bone collapse.
  • Instability: Damage to knee connective tissues, like ligaments or the meniscus (the knee’s shock-absorbing pads) renders the joint unstable, causing gait abnormalities.
  • Complex Surgical Interventions: Advanced arthritis may mean that you will need an intricate procedure like total joint replacement.
  • Recurrent Injuries: When cartilage wears or breaks down, it weakens the knee, increasing the risk of stress fractures or other trauma.
  • Reduced Quality of Life: Chronic pain and functional limitations significantly impact daily activities.
  • Hemarthrosis: This condition is articular bleeding that arises from extended damage to joint components like cartilage.

Additional complications such as pinched nerves, bone spurs, and joint infections can also develop due to arthritis in the knee. During your consultation with one of our pain management doctors in Wisconsin, these potential complications will be thoroughly discussed, and a personalized non-surgical treatment plan will be devised for you.

Treatment for Arthritis in the Knee

The journey to treat osteoarthritis of the knee begins with a comprehensive approach, including a thorough physical examination, a review of your medical history, and diagnostic assessments like an x-ray.
Various traditional techniques and new treatments for osteoarthritis are employed in treating this condition:

  • Physical Therapy: Tailored exercises prescribed by a physical therapist aim to strengthen the knee, enhance range of motion, and improve flexibility.
  • Lifestyle and Activity Modifications: Physicians may suggest lifestyle adjustments to mitigate risk factors and alleviate pressure on the knee joint. Strategies such as weight loss and adopting low-impact exercises promote joint protection.
  • Knee-Assistive Devices: Utilizing knee sleeves, braces, walking aids, or shock-absorbing footwear can provide knee bone-on-bone treatment through support, enhancing joint stability, and relieving pain.
  • Steroid Injections: Corticosteroids injected directly into the painful joint offer relief from discomfort and reduce inflammation.
  • Medications: Pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are some of the types of medications prescribed to alleviate pain and reduce swelling for knee OA.
  • Ice Therapy: Temporary knee joint pain relief can be achieved if you apply ice to the swollen knee for about 20 minutes at a time.
  • Surgical Intervention: In cases where conservative treatments prove ineffective, the best pain reliever for osteoarthritis is a surgical option, such as arthroscopic surgery, cartilage grafting, osteotomy, or knee replacement.

If you suffer from persistent knee pain, consulting with a qualified specialist at an arthritis knee pain center in Wisconsin is imperative for accurate diagnosis and specially tailored treatment. At Pro Spine & Pain, our board-certified experts possess the knowledge and cutting-edge technology to address knee arthritis without surgery. Contact us today to embark on the journey towards a pain-free life.

Updated on Apr 17, 2024 by Dr. Thomas Stauss (Pain Management) of Pro Spine & Pain

Thomas Stauss, MD

Thomas Stauss, MD, completed both his undergraduate and medical studies at the esteemed University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Stauss values having access to a wide array of cutting-edge treatment options, ensuring effective relief for his patients' discomfort and a significant enhancement in their quality of life. More specifically, he specializes in utilizing implanted devices to manage chronic pain. Dr. Stauss’s primary objective is to uphold the dignity of each patient while delivering ethical and professional services.

More about Dr. Stauss