Are aching, stiff joints starting to get in the way of your day-to-day life? Wondering if your “bad knee” might in fact be arthritis? If some or all of the following symptoms are interfering with daily activities, you should get it checked out.
6 Symptoms of Arthritis of the Knee
Arthritis of the knee is most likely to develop slowly over time. In the beginning, you may experience pain after a period of inactivity, like in the morning after waking up. After a while, you may notice the pain more often, for example when kneeling or walking up stairs.
Pain that wakes you up in the night can be symptomatic of severe osteoarthritis. Some people find that changes in the weather (especially damp and low-pressure weather) make their pain and stiffness worse. You probably have good days and bad days—sometimes due to how active you’ve been, and sometimes for no discernible reason at all.
Stiffness and loss of movement
Stiffness, especially after a period of rest, is another frequent symptom. Additionally, you may not be able to bend your knee as freely or as far as normal and may experience increasingly limited mobility.
Arthritis of the knee can cause periodic swelling. This is due to the formation of bone spurs (osteophytes) or extra fluids in the joint. Your knees may also look red or feel warm to the touch.
Buckling and locking up
Over time, your knee muscles can weaken and your joint deteriorate to the point where your knee gives way or buckles. Your knee can also lock up so that you can’t bend or straighten it.
Grinding, cracking, and popping
You might feel an unsettling grinding sensation in your knees when you move, or even hear popping or cracking noises. This is caused by the loss of smooth cartilage, which results in rough surfaces, like bone spurs, rubbing together.
Your knees may begin to bow in toward each other or bend outward. The muscles around your knee may look sunken or thin and wasted. There are 3 different types of knee arthritis: Osteoarthritis (OA) slowly wears away joint cartilage. It is the most common kind of knee arthritis and is most likely to occur after middle age. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory condition that can occur at any age.
Post-traumatic arthritis develops after a knee injury and can occur years after a torn meniscus, ligament injury, or knee fracture.
Diagnosing knee arthritis early can help you get the treatment and therapies you need to relieve pain and preserve your ability to move. If you think you might have arthritis of the knee, call us for more information.