Knee pain is a symptom of different conditions such as arthritis, fracture, dislocation, overuse, and bursitis. It is a common complaint that affects adults of all ages. Understanding its cause is necessary to get the treatment you need.
In particular, arthritis needs immediate management and care to help you avoid further complications that will inhibit you from performing your daily activities. Here are questions to ask yourself to help you know whether your knee pain is a sign of arthritis.
Is the pain persistent?
Severe and persistent pain in your knees is a sign of arthritis. It can also intensify if you also have other health conditions like diabetes and obesity. Adults are more likely to experience chronic pain with their arthritis, although younger patients may also develop it.
Pain happens because of the wear and tear of the cartilage, the padding between the bones. When the cartilage wears down, bone-on-bone friction occurs. Aside from persistent pain, you may also experience a grating sensation.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, pain occurs because your immune system mistakenly attacks the synovial lining of your joints. It can affect both knees simultaneously, as this type of arthritis appears on both sides of the body.
Is there swelling in the knee joint?
Do you notice swelling with your knee pain? If yes, then this can be a sign of arthritis. Swelling with knee pain occurs because of the inflammation in the joint. Pain and swelling can subside when the affected area is not in use and worsen with touch or movement. If you have gout, a type of arthritis, the swollen joint may also feel warm, tender, and appear red.
Is there joint stiffness?
If your knee pain is accompanied by stiffness, then it may be a sign of arthritis. The stiffness may make it difficult to move, affecting the joint’s range of motion. It is often worse when you wake up in the mornings or after not moving for a while.
Do you also have a fever?
If you have fever alongside knee pain, this could be a symptom of septic arthritis. This condition is the inflammation of a joint, often the knee or hip, due to an infection from bacteria or other disease-causing microorganisms. The infection can spread quickly and damage both cartilage and bone in the joint. Septic arthritis requires immediate treatment as it can cause irreversible damage to the joint.
Juvenile arthritis may also cause fever spikes at night and may be accompanied by rashes on your child’s arms, trunk, or legs.
Arthritis Diagnosis and Management in Central Maryland
Pain in your knee tells you that something is wrong, and it needs to be checked. Whether it is arthritis or a different health condition, it’s vital to seek medical help, especially when the pain prohibits your movement. Early diagnosis leads to quick treatment and prevention of further complications.
The board-certified doctors at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland can diagnose the cause of your knee pain and help you manage your condition. We use sophisticated diagnostic and treatment methods to address a variety of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries.For any questions or concerns, you may reach our friendly staff by calling (410) 644-1880. Alternatively, you can use this online request form to schedule a visit at any of our five clinics in Central Maryland. Let us help you keep your joints pain-free and healthy!