What are the Most Common Knee Arthritis Symptoms?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 January 2020
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Arthritis can occur in any of the joints of the body, but one of the most common areas in which arthritis occurs is in the knees. Knee arthritis symptoms will result from the degradation of cartilage and ligaments in the knee, which can in turn lead to degradation of the bones of the joint. Some common knee arthritis symptoms include pain, swelling and inflammation, stiffness, loss of mobility, constant or regularly occurring aches, and weakness in the joint. Other symptoms may indicate the presence of arthritis, and some common knee arthritis symptoms may actually be caused by other knee issues.

Arthritis is a degenerative condition for which there is no cure; cartilage and ligaments begin to wear out from use over time, so arthritis is a common problem among middle-aged people and the elderly. The degradation of cartilage, which cushions the knee during regular movement, can allow the bones of the joint to rub against each other or against surrounding ligaments or tendons, leading to pain and inflammation. These are perhaps the two most common knee arthritis symptoms, in fact, and when inflammation occurs regularly, a sufferer may want to consider visiting a doctor to see if arthritis is the cause.


Stiffness can be one of the more common knee arthritis symptoms, and in some cases, the knee joint may lock up completely. This is usually due to several conditions, from inflamed tendons to damaged cartilage. The knee cannot function properly with the damaged cartilage, so the normal joint movement will be adversely affected. The bones of the knee may not line up as they should, leading to stiffness and pain. If the knee locks up completely, the cartilage may be severely damaged and might need to be repaired surgically.

There is no cure for arthritis, so most doctors focus on treating the condition with pain management techniques, such as the use of topical ointments, painkillers, and anti-inflammatory medications. When arthritis affects the knee so severely that pain is constant and the knee becomes immobile, a doctor may recommend joint replacement surgery. This course of action is usually reserved for cases in which the knee arthritis symptoms are so severe that the sufferer cannot perform daily tasks effectively, thereby disrupting one's daily life. The joint is removed and replaced with a prosthetic; the surgery is very invasive and requires an extended recovery period in which the patient may experience severe pain.



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