How is the knee structured?
Your knee joint is where your thigh bone (femur) and your shin bone (tibia) meet. It allows the bones to move freely but within limits. When your knee has osteoarthritis its surfaces become damaged and it doesn’t move as well as it should do.
What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee?
•a grating or grinding sensation (crepitus) when you move the joint
•soft or hard swellings.
Almost anyone can get osteoarthritis of the knee but you’re at a greater risk if:
•you’re in your late 40s or older
•you're a woman
•your parents had it
•you’ve had a previous joint injury
•your joints have been damaged by another disease (e.g. gout or rheumatoid arthritis).
What is the outlook for osteoarthritis of the knee?
Osteoarthritis of the knee affects different people in different ways. Sometimes it can develop over just a year or two, but more often it’s a slow process that develops over many years and causes small changes, although it may still be painful.
What can I do to help myself if I have osteoarthritis of the knee?
•use over-the-counter painkillers (e.g. paracetamol) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are available as tablets or creams and gels that you rub into the affected area
•lose weight if you’re overweight
•exercise regularly (both muscle-strengthening exercise and general aerobic exercise)
•use heat/ice packs
•try complementary therapies
•use gadgets and home adaptations
•learn pain management and relaxation techniques.