What is Knee Arthritis ?

What is Knee Arthritis?

What is knee arthritis? Knee arthritis is when the cartilage in the knee breaks down. The articular cartilage in the knee protects the joint. Therefore in an arthritic knee, the cartilage slowly or in some cases quickly, detaches from the underling bones that make up the knee joint. Above all , arthritis occurs when the articular cartilage detaches or breaks off the ends of the bones. When this occurs the underlying bone is exposed.https://louisvillebones.com/

To teach and show what knee osteoarthritis looks like during a knee arthroscopy

The upper left image reveals an arthroscopic picture of knee with normal cartilage and no arthritis . The upper right hand image , within the area where the green dots are located reveal complete loss of articular cartilage demonstrating advanced arthritis . The lower images also reveal advanced arthritis.

Who Gets Knee Arthritis ?

Most arthritis is age related. However, another cause is obesity. Thirdly, genetics also plays a role. Arthritis may occur if there is a injury that damages the articular cartilage of the joint. This occurs when an intra articular fracture occurs.

Obesity is a cause of osteoarthritis. This occurs because  abnormal forces are placed on the knee. For example , when you walk , every step places approximately three pound of force of the knee joint. Therefore, if you weigh 100 pounds , as you walk, 300 pounds of force is placed on the knee joint with every step. If you are 100 pounds overweight , you are placing 300 extra pounds of force on the knee joint with every step. Running also increases the force on the knee joint .

How Do you Diagnosis ?

The most common way to diagnosis  is with an x-ray.

To educate what an arthritis knee xray look like and the detail of bone on bone

A knee x-ray that shows advanced knee arthritis. The red circle shows the bone on bone area on the x-ray where the advanced osteoarthritis is located.

An image that shows a normal knee Xray. The purpose is the educate

The image shows a normal knee x-ray without evidence of arthritis. The x-ray has a normal joint space.


Secondly, MRI is also a diagnostic tests. Thirdly, a knee scope can also diagnosis knee osteoarthritis . CT imaging is a less common way to diagnosis knee arthritis. A three phase bone scan can suggest arthritis.

What are the Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis ?

When the cartilage is missing the bones in the knee joint are not protected. This causes swelling, loss of range of motion, stiffness, giving way and pain. Not all of these symptoms may be present at the same time.

Options for Treating

There are many options for treating the symptoms . There are non-surgical and surgical options. Try non surgical options prior to surgery . Total knee replacement is the most common surgical treatment for advanced knee arthritis . However, 23 percent of the people that undergo knee replacement are not happy with the results.

Non-surgical treatment for knee arthritis ; injection therapy, physical therapy , oral NSAIDS , bracing and supplements .

Injection therapy ranges from cortisone injections to hyaluronic acid . Others injections include PRP as know as platelet rich plasma.


An image of a syringe with Gel one an injection that is used to help reduce the symptoms of knee arthritis . The photo is for education purposes

Gel-one is hyaluronic acid