Osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis of the knee is an increasingly common problem involving both men and women. This condition is common in individuals over the age of fifty, individuals who are overweight and in those who have had previous injury to or surgery of the knee.
Arthritis of the knee can be confidently predicted when the individual presents with knee pain, limited duration morning stiffness, reduced function, restricted motion of the knee and bony enlargement or increased size of the knee.
Treatment of the arthritic knee includes activity moderation/modification, weight loss if appropriate, exercise (bicycle or water exercise), avoidance of pain provocative activity, heat or ice, and oral non-prescription medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprophen and naproxen sodium.
Injection of corticosteroids or viscosupplementation (lubricants) may be used. Arthroscopic debridement or removal of loose bone and/or cartilage may be useful in selected individuals.
When the above methods fail, and the individual is intolerant of pain and incapacitation, knee joint replacement may be required to control pain and allow comfortable mobility.