Arthritis is a frustrating and debilitating condition that can affect various areas of the body. For those who suffer specifically from pain and discomfort around the knee, it can be helpful to learn the symptoms of arthritis in the knee, so that you can hopefully recognize the issue and seek medical attention.
There are three different forms of arthritis that can occur within the knees, and the most common type is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis frequently occurs after middle age, whereas rheumatoid arthritis develops as an inflammatory disease that can strike at any age. Finally, post-traumatic arthritis is an injury-based form of arthritis that may occur after an injury to a ligament, torn meniscus, or fracture.
Following are some of the most common symptoms of arthritis in the knee. These symptoms apply to any of the above three forms of arthritis.
1. Tenderness and Swelling
If you're experiencing regular swelling around the knee, this isn't necessarily just a sign that you need to use your knee compression sleeve. Arthritis of the knee can cause periodic inflammation as a result of the formation of bone spurs, or the presence of additional fluid throughout the knee. Swelling can also become more pronounced following long periods of inactivity - such as when you first wake up in the morning.
2. Gradually Worsening Pain
When it comes to symptoms of arthritis in the knee, pain might be the most obvious, but it's worth noting that arthritic pain usually develops and worsens over time - rather than appearing suddenly. You might notice that the pain in your knee is worse when you attempt to climb stairs or stand from a sitting position. Some people who suffer from arthritis claim that damp weather or other atmosphere-related changes can bring about spikes of pain in their condition.
3. Restricted Range of Motion
Arthritis has a habit of making it particularly difficult for the joints within the knee to glide and move as they're supposed to, which can make simple movements difficult, or even impossible. If you attempt to participate in athletic activities and can't move in the same way you once could, or even if you have trouble climbing the stairs, this could be a sign that you're suffering from arthritis in the knee.
4. Locking and Buckling
Locking is another of the most common symptoms of arthritis in the knee. Over time, the muscles and ligaments supporting the knee may begin to weaken, which makes the joint structure more unstable. As weakness in the knee persists, you may find that you frequently experience periods when your knee buckles or gives way. What's more, the joint can also lock up or stick so that you cannot straighten or bend it as you want to.
5. Audible Popping or Cracking Sounds
The knee generally makes popping and cracking sounds that we can't hear as we walk. However, if you begin to hear those sounds, this could be a sign that you have lost some of the smooth cartilage that helps to support your range of motion. If you have arthritis of the knee, those noises of grinding cartilage will be the result of bone spurs and rough surfaces connecting with each other as you move.