Signs, Symptoms, and Causes

Signs and Symptoms

The main symptoms associated with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee are:

  • Knee pain that worsens with physical activity and and improves with rest1
  • Loss of mobility, including difficulty walking, climbing, or getting in and out of chairs or bathtubs1,2
  • Knee stiffness, especially in the morning or after long periods of sitting1,2
  • Swelling around the knee1,2
  • A creaking, crackly sound or crunching feeling when moving the knee1,2

Other possible symptoms include:3

  • Buckling or instability of the knee
  • Bony enlargement of the knee
  • Deformity of the knee

Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Discuss where the pain is, how long you've had it, and what activities make it better or worse. Your doctor will perform tests to determine the cause of your knee pain or may refer you to a specialist for further evaluation.

If the cause of your pain is OA of the knee, there are numerous treatment options available, including EUFLEXXA.

Causes

There are several possible ways that someone can develop OA of the knee, including:

  • Age. As people get older, they may lose some of their ability to heal cartilage. People over the age of 45 are at a higher risk for OA1,2,4
  • Gender. Women are generally at a higher risk than men for OA1
  • It runs in the family. Some people may inherit the risk of OA from their parents1,5
  • Excessive weight. Weight gain increases pressure on the knees. Every pound gained can equal 4 pounds of extra pressure on the knees1,5
  • Repetitive stress or injury. Some jobs, such as landscaping, require repeated kneeling, squatting, or lifting heavy objects that can cause stress on the knees, leading to OA. Athletic injuries may also lead to development of the disease1,5
  • Other illnesses. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are at a higher risk for developing OA. Certain metabolic disorders, such as hemochromatosis (when the body absorbs too much iron) and acromegaly (when the body makes too much growth hormone), can lead to OA as well1,5

References: 1. WebMD website. Osteoarthritis of the knee (degenerative arthritis of the knee). http://www.webmd.com /osteoarthritis/guide/ostearthritis-of-the-knee-degenerative-arthritis-of-the-knee. Reviewed May 16, 2012. Accessed May 22, 2013. 2. US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health. Handout on Health: Osteoarthritis. NIH Publication No. 06-4617. July 2002, revised May 2006. 3. Manek NJ, Lane NE. Osteoarthritis: current concepts in diagnosis and management. Am Fam Physician. 2000;61:1795-1804. 4. Parmet S, Lynm C, Glass RM. Osteoarthritis of the knee. JAMA. 2003;289:1068. 5. Arthritis Today website. What is osteoarthritis? http://www.arthritistoday.org/about-arthritis/types-of-arthritis/osteoarthritis/what-you-need-to-know/osteoarthritis-is.php. Accessed May 22, 2013.

NEXT: Diagnosis