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Osteoarthritis – Arthritis of the Knee

 Osteoarthritis – Arthritis of the Knee
Knee osteoarthritis is defined by degeneration of the knee’s articular cartilage – the flexible, slippery material that normally protects bones from joint friction and impact. The condition also involves changes to the bone underneath the cartilage and can affect nearby soft tissues

How will it affect?

If you have osteoarthritis of the knee, you will probably feel your knee is painful and stiff at times. It may only affect one knee, especially if you’ve injured it in the past, or you could have it in both. The pain may feel worse at the end of the day, or when you move your knee, and it may improve when you rest. You might have some stiffness in the morning, but this won’t usually last more than half an hour.

The pain can be felt all around your knee, or just in a certain place such as the front and sides. It might feel worse after moving your knee in a particular way, such as going up or down stairs.

Sometimes, people have pain that wakes them up in the night. You’ll probably find that the pain varies and that you have good and bad days.

You might find you can’t move your knee as easily or as far as normal, or it might creak or crunch as you move it.

Sometimes your knee might look swollen. This can be caused by two things:

• Hard swelling: when the bone at the edge of the joint grows outwards, forming bony spurs, called osteophytes (os-tee-o-fites).

• Soft swelling: when your joint becomes inflamed and produces extra fluid, sometimes called an effusion or water on the knee.

Sometimes osteoarthritis of the knee can cause the muscles in the thighs to weaken, so your leg may look thinner. This weakness can make the joint feel unstable and could cause the knee to give way when you put weight on it. The effects of osteoarthritis can make people feel depressed or anxious, and it can affect relationships and sleep. If you have any problems like this, mention them to your doctor as there are things they can do to help.

Symptoms

Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

Pain. Affected joints might hurt during or after movement.
Stiffness. Joint stiffness might be most noticeable upon awakening or after being inactive.
Tenderness. Your joint might feel tender when you apply light pressure to or near it.
Loss of flexibility. You might not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.
Grating sensation. You might feel a grating sensation when you use the joint, and you might hear popping or crackling.
Bone spurs. These extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, can form around the affected joint.
Swelling. This might be caused by soft tissue inflammation around the joint.

Complications

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that worsens over time, often resulting in chronic pain. Joint pain and stiffness can become severe enough to make daily tasks difficult. Depression and sleep disturbances can result from the pain and disability of osteoarthritis.

Summary

The effects of osteoarthritis can make people feel depressed or anxious, and it can affect relationships and sleep. If you have any problems like this, mention them to your doctor as there are things they can do to help.
If you are finding sex painful or uncomfortable, don’t give up hope. If the issue has psychological or physical causes, it may be treated with help from a healthcare provider.
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