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The Impact of Knee Osteoarthritis and Its Toll on Mobility

Walking is a fundamental human activity that we often take for granted. While we may not think about it consciously, our knees play a crucial role in this everyday action. Unfortunately, repetitively using and moving the knees increases the likelihood of developing knee osteoarthritis. 

In the U.S., almost half of all adults (46%) develop knee osteoarthritis during their lifetimes, but it is most prevalent among women 50 and older.

Unaddressed knee osteoarthritis can modify the knee joints' shape, destabilizing the legs and increasing the likelihood of falling.

The Arthritis Foundation found that having knee osteoarthritis increases the risk of falling by more than 50%.

What is Knee Osteoarthritis?

Knee osteoarthritis is a progressive knee joint disease. It is among the most common forms of arthritis. 

There are two forms of knee osteoarthritis: primary and secondary.

Primary knee osteoarthritis is the most common form of knee osteoarthritis. It is often called "wear and tear" arthritis, as the natural aging process and cumulative stress on the knee joint over time primarily cause it. However, the exact cause of primary knee osteoarthritis is still not fully understood.

Secondary knee osteoarthritis is caused by an underlying infection, malformation, disease, or traumatic injury. 

The condition develops when the cartilage that pads the ends of the bones in the knee joint wears away over time. This cartilage erosion leads to pain, stiffness, and swelling. When left untreated, the knee cartilage will wear away significantly, leading to joint space loss. Joint space loss is when the bones rub together without a cushioning mechanism, causing debilitating pain and loss of motion. 

Cartilage can erode for numerous reasons, including the following:

While there is no cure for knee osteoarthritis, the condition can be managed effectively through non-surgical interventions.

What are Knee Osteoarthritis Symptoms?

Knee osteoarthritis symptoms are degenerative, meaning they become increasingly intense and disruptive. Signs include the following:

How Knee Osteoarthritis Affects Overall Health

Continual knee pain and stiffness can make mobility difficult, sometimes to such an extent that patients can no longer perform routine work tasks or daily activities.

Patients with unaddressed knee osteoarthritis are more likely to become sedentary, which raises the risk of developing heart disease, type II diabetes, and high blood pressure. Moreover, many patients experience negative psychological effects of limited mobility, including social disengagement, isolation, and depression.

How do I know if I Have Knee Osteoarthritis?

If you have knee instability, pain, stiffness, or reduced motion, you don’t have to struggle with debilitating symptoms. The team at Texas Knee Institute can help.

Please don’t hesitate to schedule an evaluation with the specialists at Texas Knee Institute to determine whether your knee symptoms are caused by osteoarthritis.

In addition to taking a thorough physical examination, we will capture X-ray images of your knees, allowing us to visualize the internal structure of your knee joints and determine the extent of cartilage loss and other abnormalities. If necessary, we might recommend magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to help us design the optimum course of treatment.

What are the Risk Factors for Knee Osteoarthritis?

Here are several issues that might raise the risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knees:

Enduring the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis can be difficult and sometimes upsetting, but targeted treatment can significantly alleviate symptoms and enhance mobility.

If you have knee osteoarthritis-related pain, stiffness, or inflammation, please don't hesitate to contact the caring specialists at Texas Knee Institute at 469-341-5997713-575-3686713-575-3686 (Houston) or 469-341-5997 (Dallas). We offer advanced minimally invasive interventions that achieve excellent long-term outcomes for patients struggling with knee pain.

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