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Knee Arthritis Treatment in Illinois

Fellowship-Trained Knee Orthopedic Specialists

Like other joints, knees rely on cartilage to absorb force and cushion contact between bones. Arthritis occurs when the cartilage thins or sustains damage, reducing its effectiveness as a shock absorber. In the knee, the space between the thigh bone (femur) and shin (tibia) is prone to osteoarthritis, as wear and tear diminishes the cartilage cushion. Over time, knee arthritis may cause spurs and loose objects to develop, further complicating the painful condition.

Cause of Knee Arthritis

The origins of osteoarthritis may trace to multiple contributing causes, including these risk factors:

  • Age: Although young people can develop arthritis, risk increases beyond age 45. Often referred to as “Wear and tear” arthritis, natural, age-related degradation itself is enough to cause osteoarthritis of the knee.
  • Gender: Women are more likely than men to develop arthritis.
  • Heredity: Genetic predisposition may increase the risk of developing knee arthritis.
  • Injury: Repetitive stress accelerates wear and tear on knee joints, contributing to the development of osteoarthritis. Athletes prone to overuse of the knees, for instance, are at higher risk, and a history of acute injury may also hasten the onset of osteoarthritis in the knee.
  • Weight: Carrying extra weight may contribute to premature wear and damage to knee cartilage.

Description of Knee Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is a common complaint among those over 45. Pain, swelling, and stiffness associated with this type of arthritis may strike any of the body’s joints, but knees are particularly vulnerable to the condition. Repetitive stress and overuse cause cartilage between the bones to break down, thinning and causing bones to rub against one another without a proper buffer. While it commonly develops as a result of natural age-related degeneration, knee arthritis may also set in following acute injury or infection.

Symptoms of Knee Arthritis

Arthritis in the knee joints commonly presents these symptoms:

  • Pain when getting up or initiating activity
  • Knee stiffness or loss of the ability to fully straighten or bend the knee
  • A feeling of fullness (fluid) in the knee
  • Giving way or instability of the knee
  • Creakiness, grinding, or snapping (“crepitus”)

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