Knee Osteoarthritis


Overview

Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. Pain, swelling, and stiffness are the primary symptoms of arthritis. Any joint in the body may be affected by the disease, but it is particularly common in the knee.

Knee arthritis can make it hard to do many everyday activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. It is a major cause of lost work time and a serious disability for many people.

Condition

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the knee. It is a degenerative,”wear-and-tear” type of arthritis that occurs most often in people 50 years of age and older, but may occur in younger people, too.

Symptoms & Signs

Osteoarthritis of the knee may be painful and feel inflamed. Generally, the pain develops gradually over time, although sudden onset is also possible. Swelling and stiffness are common. The knee sometimes feels like it gives out with weakness and sometime pain.

Treatment

Identifying alignment issues along with specific regions of the knee that are effected by osteoarthritis can help direct treatment. Braces that unload the knee, alter painful movements or keep the joint warm have been shown to help reduce symptoms. Foot orthotics and supportive footwear that help with knee alignment are also common treatment for knee arthritis.

Symptoms & Cause

In osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the knee joint gradually wears away. As the cartilage wears away, it becomes frayed and rough, and the protective space between the bones decreases. This can result in bone rubbing on bone, and produce painful bone spurs. This degeneration of the joint can be accelerated by previous traumas and injuries sustained by the knee previously. The joint may be affected in specific regions or “compartments”. The knee has a inner (medial) and outer (lateral) compartment as well as the knee cap (patellofemoral) compartment.

Osteoarthritis develops slowly and the pain it causes worsens over time. Certain weight bearing activities such as running or sports with twisting motions such as tennis may aggravate the knees and accelerate the degenerative process.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia, a band of tough tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes, becomes irritated or inflamed. Heel pain which is often worst in the morning when getting out of bed or getting up from rest, is the most common symptom. Arch pain may also be present in some individuals.

Treatment for plantar fasciitis includes:

  • Rest / activity modification
  • Calf and foot muscle stretches and exercises
  • Medication recommended by your physician
  • Shoes with a good shank and a cushioned sole
  • Arch supports or if required custom foot orthotics
  • Tape for support or pain relief such as Kinesio tape
  • Physiotherapy

If you are experiencing foot pain or discomfort, you should consult your physician for a proper diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan.

 

Your doctor may refer you to  OKAPED’s to see a Canadian Certified Pedorthist for Pedorthic management of your foot pain. This may include orthopaedic footwear, shoe selection guidance, orthotics and/or foot related products such as a metatarsal pad. If you know your condition and want to learn about new products and treatments please give us a call.

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