When we hear the word “osteoarthritis,” we tend to associate it with aging. However, knee osteoarthritis – or osteoarthritis in any joint – can actually affect the younger population as well, especially young athletes.
Like many types of arthritis, osteoarthritis of the knee can make it difficult to accomplish a lot of normal daily activities, such as walking. Let us explore what knee osteoarthritis is, what causes it, and where you can go in Fort Lauderdale to see a highly experienced orthopedic surgeon who can help you tamp down that knee arthritis for good.
What Is Knee Osteoarthritis?
With osteoarthritis, the protective cartilage in the joint wears down. This can cause the bones to rub against each other during movement, leading to pain and possible disability.
Some symptoms of knee osteoarthritis are:
- Knee pain that worsens with movement
- Stiffness, swelling, and instability of the knee
- Gradual loss of motion and flexibility
- Creaking and grating sensation (crepitus)
- Bone spurs in the knee
What Causes Arthritis in the Knee?
The exact cause of osteoarthritis isn’t fully understood, because some people get this type of arthritis while others perform even more wear-and-tear motions but never develop arthritis. However, several factors contribute to your risk of developing it.
You can wear out and damage your knee joint cartilage due to:
- Previous knee injury. Joint injury suffered at any age increases the risk of getting knee osteoarthritis. Knee surgery could also damage the knee joint.
- Excessive wear and tear or stress on the knee joint. The wearing-away of cartilage in the knee can be due to high-impact activities and repetitive movements, such as jogging or frequent squatting (such as when gardening).
- Increasing age. While knee osteoarthritis can develop anytime and to anyone, it’s most prevalent in adults from their late 40s and onward.
- Being overweight. Knees bear much of your weight whenever you stand or walk, so excess weight can put extra stress on your knees – thus damaging the joints. Excess fat tissue also produces proteins that can cause harmful inflammation in your joints.
- Women are more likely than men to have knee osteoarthritis, though it isn’t clear why.
- Knee osteoarthritis can be inherited. Some forms of osteoarthritis can be linked to mutations of single genes that affect collagen, causing the condition to develop in your joints at an earlier age.
- Bone deformities. If you were born with bone abnormalities in the foot, leg, or knee – such as crooked bones or bones that did not grow to be the equal lengths of the opposite bone in the other leg – or if you develop any of these issues in childhood, it could lead to earlier and more severe knee osteoarthritis.
- Metabolic disease. Metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and hemochromatosis (excessive levels of iron), are often linked to knee osteoarthritis.
Knee Osteoarthritis Treatment in Fort Lauderdale, FL
While knee osteoarthritis can develop in older adults, it can affect people of virtually any age. If you’re suffering from knee arthritis, schedule a consultation with our skilled orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Paul Meli.
Dr. Meli specializes in both surgical and nonsurgical treatment of orthopedic conditions, including pain relief injections and total knee replacement for treating arthritis. You and he can work together to determine the right treatment in your case.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Meli, call us today at (954) 324-7711 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you get your knee back!