Knee arthritis is a major culprit in lost productivity and disability among millions of adults in the United States. The condition causes symptoms that can render a person incapable of even taking a step and doing other movements that they rely on to accomplish day-to-day tasks.
Whether you’re plagued by the debilitating symptoms of knee arthritis and want to learn about what exactly causes the condition, or you just want to be proactive and find out whether you’re at risk, the information below may equip you with all you need to know. Causes
The major types of arthritis that commonly affect the knee are osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative or wear-and-tear arthritis), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Osteoarthritis (OA) occurs when the tough, fibrous, and slippery tissue (cartilage) that cushions the ends of the bones and allows for frictionless joint movement deteriorates, causing bone-on-bone rubbing.
The condition most often occurs in people 50 years of age and older, although in some cases, it can affect younger people as well.
Osteoarthritis develops gradually, and the symptoms it brings on worsen over time.
Unlike OA, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. It occurs when the immune system malfunctions and triggers an inflammatory response, causing the lining of the joints (synovium) to swell, thus the distressing symptoms.
RA can occur at any age, albeit it most often develops between ages 30 and 50. When it develops between ages 60 and 65, it is referred to as elderly-onset rheumatoid arthritis.
Below is an outline of the risk factors for knee arthritis. Some of these factors are modifiable, meaning you can control them by making the necessary dietary and lifestyle modifications.
- Advancing age– Your risk for knee OA increases with age.
- Sex– Women are more likely to suffer from knee OA than men.
- Family history– Both types of arthritis tend to run in families. You’re more likely to develop either of the two conditions if you have a parent or sibling who has it.
- Obesity– Excess weight places more strain on the knee.
- Occupation– If your job involves repetitive movements, such as squatting and bending, you’re likely at risk of developing knee arthritis, as these can lead to repeated stress on the joint and, consequently, injury.
- Smoking- The exact reason why RA and smoking are linked isn’t fully understood, but experts believe that smoking ignites faulty functioning of the immune system in people who have a genetic predisposition to RA.
Knee Arthritis Treatment in Fort Lauderdale, FL
One of the most trusted orthopedic physicians in South Florida, Dr. Paul Meli offers innovative and highly effective solutions for the entire range of musculoskeletal conditions—including knee arthritis. He also takes great pleasure in providing our patients with useful information to empower them to make the wisest health decisions.
To request an appointment with Dr. Meli, call us at (954) 324-7711, or fill out this form. We look forward to helping you take better care of your musculoskeletal health!