What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis occurs over time. When the cartilage wears away it becomes frayed and rough. Moving the bone along this exposed section is painful. If the cartilage wears away completely, it can result in bone rubbing on bone. As the cartilage continues to wear away, damaged bones may start to bow inward or outward, forming spurs and causing more pain.
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, osteoarthritis of the knee is one of five leading causes of disability among elderly men and women, Osteoarthritis of the knee is characterized by
a degeneration of the knee cartilage.
Pain from osteoarthritis of the knee is usually worse following activity, especially overuse of the affected knee. Stiffness can worsen after sitting for prolonged periods of time. Symptoms generally become more severe as osteoarthritis progresses Some of the signs and symptoms associated with knee osteoarthritis include:
- Decreasing range of motion
- Muscle weakness and atrophy
- Baker’s cyst
What causes Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis occurs over time. When the cartilage wears away it becomes frayed and rough. Moving the bone along this exposed section is painful. If the cartilage wears away completely, it can result in bone rubbing on bone. To compensate for the lost cartilage damaged bones may start to bow outward and form painful spurs.
Many factors can increase your risk for developing osetoarthritis but the main risks include:
- Age: The ability of cartilage to heal itself decreases as we age. Osteoarthritis typically affects people middle-aged and older.
- Injury: Previous knee injury, such as a sports injury, can lead to osteoarthritis later in life. Heredity. Certain genes have been linked to OA.
- Weight: The more you weigh, the more stress you put on your knee joints.
- Overuse: People in occupations that involve repeated kneeling or squatting, heavy lifting and walking, are vulnerable to repetitive stress injuries in the knee.
- Other illnesses: If you have had other problems with your knee, such as gout, knee infection or Lyme disease, your risk for osteoarthritis increases.