Knee arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and pain in the knee joint. It is common in older adults but can also occur in younger people. This condition can be debilitating and make it difficult to perform everyday activities, play sports, or complete work tasks. That’s why it’s crucial to spot the first signs to get treatment early and prevent the condition from worsening.
Here are the early symptoms of an arthritic knee:
One of the earliest signs of arthritis in the knee is joint pain. You may feel a dull ache or a sharp, shooting pain that may worsen after rest or inactivity. The pain may increase with activity and be especially bothersome during and after exercise. This is due to joint inflammation and deterioration of the cartilage cushioning and protecting the knee. The joint may also swell due to the build-up of fluid called effusion or from the formation of bone spurs.
As arthritis progresses, symptoms may become more severe and constant.
Another common early symptom of arthritic knee is stiffness. This sensation is usually worse in the morning and may make it difficult to straighten the knee fully. Knee stiffness may worsen after resting, like when you wake up in the morning. However, stiffness may improve with activity after the affected joint warms up. Over time, the stiffness may lessen, but it may never go away completely.
Buckling is another symptom of arthritis in the knee. This weakness manifests when the joint suddenly gives way or collapses without any warning. It can be from sudden weakness in the knee muscles or damage to the cartilage that cushions the joint. Buckling can make it difficult to walk or stand for an extended time.
This weakness can also be from a condition called patellar subluxation. This condition occurs when the kneecap or patella slides out of place. It can result from a loss of muscle control or damage to the patella’s ligaments. This condition can make it difficult to extend the knee fully.
As arthritis progresses, other symptoms may develop, such as joint swelling, creaking or grating sensations, weakness, and instability. These symptoms may come and go or may be constant. They can range from mild to severe and make it difficult to perform everyday activities.
Joint creaking may be quiet, but it can also be loud enough for others to hear. This symptom isn’t usually painful, but it can be pretty uncomfortable if it occurs often.
If you’re an athlete, you may notice a decrease in your performance if you have an arthritic knee. This change in capability is due to the loss of cartilage in the affected joint. The cartilage deterioration can lead to a limited range of motion and less shock absorption.
You may notice a decrease in your speed, agility, and power. You may also have difficulty jumping, running, pivoting, or changing directions. Treatment is vital to prevent further damage to the affected knee and restore function to allow you to play again. The first signs of arthritic changes in the knee are often subtle and easily overlooked. However, you should not ignore early warning signs, as they may indicate the beginning of a more severe problem.
Arthritis is a progressive disease, meaning it will gradually worsen over time. However, the rate at which it progresses varies from person to person. Some people may experience only mild symptoms that come and go. Others may have more severe symptoms that are constant and significantly interfere with their quality of life. There is no way to predict how quickly the disease will progress.
If you experience early signs of arthritic knee, you should consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Treatment plans may include weight loss, exercise, physical therapy, medication, or surgery. Taking prompt action can help manage your symptoms and maintain your quality of life.
Treatment For Arthritic Knee In Ft. Lauderdale, FL
If you’re looking for treatment for an arthritic knee in Florida, look no further than Paul Meli Orthopedic Surgery. Dr. Paul Meli is a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who can give you the comprehensive care you deserve. If you want to know more about our services, call our friendly staff at (954) 324-7711. If you want to book a consultation, you may use our secure online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!