Arthritis of the Knee
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of knee arthritis.
Also known as wear-and-tear arthritis or degenerative joint
disease, osteoarthritis is characterized by gradual wearing
away of the cartilage of the joint. As the protective
cartilage is worn away by knee arthritis, bare bone is left
unprotected within the joint.
Who develops knee arthritis?
Knee arthritis usually affects patients over 50 years of
age. It is much more common in patients who are overweight,
and weight loss tends to diminish the symptoms related with
knee arthritis. There is also a genetic predisposition to
this condition, meaning knee arthritis tends to run in
families. Other factors that can contribute to developing
knee arthritis include trauma to the knee, meniscus tears or
ligament damage, and fractures to the bone around the joint.
Many people suffer from arthritis; the pain and discomfort
can be so limiting that some patients may require a total
knee joint replacement. Knee replacement surgery often
allows the patient to regain much of their mobility.
Swelling of the knee joint from arthritis can lead to a
localized collection of fluid accumulating in a cyst behind
the knee. This is referred to as a Baker cyst and is a
common cause of pain at the back of the knee.