A woman sitting down with one hand on her knee

Don’t Ignore These Signs of Arthritis in the Knee

Although more than 100 different types of arthritis have been identified, this disease is most commonly characterized by pain, stiffness, and swelling in the affected joints. If you develop knee arthritis, it may impact your mobility and ability to comfortably complete regular daily activities. These five signs could indicate the need for medical care for this chronic condition.

Slow Onset of Pain

A woman sitting down with one hand on her knee

Osteoarthritis, the most common form that affects the knee, occurs in older adults as the joint cartilage wears away. Often, the condition manifests with pain in the joints after waking up or sitting for a long time. Over time, it can become difficult to stand up, climb stairs, or even take a short walk.

Joint Instability

As osteoarthritis progresses, the joint may become unable to support your weight as the muscles weaken. You may find that your knee buckles or locks in one position when you try to do certain activities. These symptoms can be intermittent, which means they worsen and then resolve before returning.

Limited Range of Motion

When you walk or climb stairs, do your leg movements feel choppy instead of smooth? With osteoarthritis, the knee joint no longer glides like it once did. This limited range of motion may eventually lead to the need for an assistive device such as a walker or cane.

Changes in Appearance

In its later stages, arthritis can cause visible shifts in the joint’s appearance. As the muscles weaken, the knee may look sunken, bend outward, or point inward. This symptom can be mild to severe, if it occurs at all.

Soreness and Swelling

If your arthritis causes fluid to collect in the joint or bone spurs to develop, your knee may become inflamed. This results in swelling, soreness, or a warm feeling. This symptom often occurs first thing in the morning and typically becomes less severe with the use of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications.

If you or a loved one is experiencing these signs of arthritis in the knee, schedule a consultation with K. Mathew Warnock, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon serving the Houston area. Dr. Warnock is experienced in diagnosing and treating arthritis and other problems affecting the knee. Call 281-807-4380 or complete our online form to make your appointment today.

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