Knee arthritis indicates breakdown of cartilage in one or both knees. The knee joint is generally affected by three forms of arthritis – osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or post-traumatic arthritis. It is interesting to note that osteoarthritis is the most common type of knee arthritis.
Common symptoms include pain, stiffness and swelling in the affected joint. An individual may experience pain after walking, climbing or kneeling. Further, severe pain and stiffness may be felt in the morning. An individual may find it difficult to perform day to day household activities as a result of this problem. There are several causes of knee arthritis.
Common Causes of Knee Arthritis
An individual may develop knee arthritis as a result of an injury. Injuries caused by accidents, sports activities and so on can damage the cartilage and affect the bone in the knee resulting in arthritis.
It is important to note that excess weight can put extreme pressure on the knee joints. This pressure can result in cartilage breakdown and knee joint degradation. Therefore, individuals suffering from the problem of obesity are at a higher risk of developing arthritis in the knee.
Wear and tear of the knee joint over a period of time is considered as one of the most common causes of knee arthritis. An individual may not experience the symptoms associated with knee arthritis at an early age. It is essential to note that many years of pressure on the knees can cause damage to the cartilage and promote bone spur formation. While preventive measures can be taken to avoid injuries and control weight, age is outside the control of an individual.
Another cause which is outside the control of an individual is heredity. An individual is at a risk of developing arthritis in the knee if one or more of his/her family members are already affected by this problem.
Weak Leg Muscles
Weak leg muscles can damage cartilage and may result in the formation of bone spurs. An individual may experience the symptoms associated with knee arthritis as a result of weak leg muscles.
Lack of exercise or physical activity can result in a loss of strength in the muscles surrounding the knee.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This problem can result from a viral infection or from abnormal levels of hormones. Genetic is another factor which can cause this disease. It is essential to note that rheumatoid arthritis usually affects both knees as against osteoarthritis which affects only one knee.
Irregular Bone Shapes/Angles
It is important to note that abnormalities in the shapes/angles of the bones making a joint can put extreme stress on the knee joint. This stress can damage the joint cartilage over a period of time and may result in knee arthritis.
The knee joint is frequently affected by bacterial infection. This condition is generally known as “Septic Arthritis” or Infectious Arthritis”. This form of arthritis can also result in pain, stiffness and swelling in the knee. In some cases, flu-like symptoms are also observed in individuals affected by septic arthritis.