Osteoarthritis of the knee

Diagnosis: Osteoarthritis refers to degenerative changes in a joint from wear and tear that occurs over time. It can affect the entire joint including bone, ligaments, cartilage and muscle. Age, body mass index, activity level, bone structure and strength can influence the progression of osteoarthritis of the knee.

Causes: As degeneration occurs, the space between the joints narrow and causes friction. There is not usually a specific incident that causes symptoms as it is a progressive condition. However, knee OA can occur as a secondary condition following a traumatic knee injury.

Symptoms: Most common symptoms of knee OA are:

  • Pain that worsens with activity such as walking, climbing, or stairs
  • Stiffness and pain after keeping knee bent or straight for a period of time
  • Popping, cracking, or grinding when moving the knee
  • Decreased mobility of the knee
  • Swelling following activity

Our Physical Therapy Treatment: Goals of physical therapy will be to reduce pain and restore range of motion. Treatment will focus on:

  • Mechanical diagnosis and treatment
  • Strengthening muscles around the knee joint
  • Flexibility and range of motion exercises
  • Balance and stability
  • Manual therapy

Treatment will focus on addressing the individualized needs of the patient, education on self-treatment strategies and creating a home exercise program for continued of recovery.

There are many levels of osteoarthritis and most are successfully treated without any surgery needed.