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Arthritis of the Knee

The knee is susceptible to three types of arthritis:

Symptoms and diagnosis

Although it can occur suddenly, arthritis pain in the knee most often develops over time.

Some signs you may want to consult your doctor include:

  • You have trouble bending or straightening your knee
  • Your knee is stiff and swollen
  • Pain and swelling are worst after a period of inactivity, such as in the morning
  • Climbing stairs, walking or kneeling worsens your pain
  • A feeling of weakness in the knees

To diagnose arthritis, your doctor will perform a thorough physical exam. Imaging and lab tests may also be ordered to make a more conclusive diagnosis.


Treatment for arthritis in the knee usually begins with conservative, nonsurgical methods. Some of these may include:

  • Using assistive and supportive devices to reduce the strain on your knee. Such devices include canes, shock-absorbing shoe inserts, knee sleeves and braces.
  • Modifying your lifestyle to reduce strain on your knees. Some changes you can make include losing weight and performing non-weight bearing exercises such as swimming or bike riding.
  • Strengthening the muscles in your legs. Having strong muscles supports the knee joint and increases your range of motion.
  • Medications, such as corticosteroids, glucosamine and chondroitin and gold salt injections.


If lifestyle modifications and medications aren't effective, your doctor may recommend surgery. There are several options:

  • Arthroscopic surgery, in which a small camera is inserted through an incision to get a view of the joint and repair it
  • Total or partial arthroplasty, which replaces cartilage with plastic and metal
  • Osteotomy, which improves the alignment of the knee
  • Cartilage grafting for knees with minimal cartilage loss

To learn more, call 714-456-7012 or schedule an appointment online ›

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