Osteoarthritis is a condition that occurs when cartilage is worn, torn, or disappears. At this time, the bones in the joints will be impacted, rubbed on each other.
This condition causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and reduced mobility. Sometimes, knee osteoarthritis also promotes the formation of bone spurs on the knee joint leading to knee spondylosis and worsens the condition.
Subjects prone to knee osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis of the knee is a common form of arthritis. Although it can happen even in young people, the risk of knee osteoarthritis increases after age 45. According to the American Arthritis Organization, more than 27 million Americans suffer from knee osteoarthritis, the knee being One of the most common affected areas. Women are more susceptible to knee osteoarthritis than men, especially women 55 years and older.
The underlying cause
While age is a major risk factor for knee osteoarthritis, the disease can still occur in young people. For some individuals, knee osteoarthritis may be hereditary. For others, knee osteoarthritis is caused by trauma or infection, even being overweight or obese is a high risk for this problem. As follows:
- Genetic factors: Genetic mutations can make a person more susceptible to knee osteoarthritis. This may also be due to a genetic abnormality in the shape of the bone surrounding the knee joint.
- Overweight: Body weight in obese people puts pressure on the joints, especially the knee joint. And this is one of the risk factors for knee osteoarthritis.
- Injury: A person who has had injuries that affect the knee joint such as dislocated knee or broken ligament in the previous knee may be able to develop knee osteoarthritis.
- Occupation: Knee osteoarthritis often occurs with heavy workers, they often have to lift heavy objects, this process lasts so that the knee must always be under heavy pressure and lead to degeneration. In addition, athletes involved in football, tennis or long distance running may be at higher risk of knee osteoarthritis than other normal people.
- Other conditions: People with rheumatoid arthritis (the second most common type of arthritis) are more likely to develop osteoarthritis. In addition, people with certain metabolic disorders, such as having an excess of iron or excess growth hormone are also at a higher risk of knee osteoarthritis.
Knowing the causes of knee osteoarthritis is a necessary condition for you to prevent the disease from the time when knee osteoarthritis has not been found.
Signs and symptoms
Osteoarthritis is divided into 4 stages. Depending on the stage of disease development, symptoms of knee osteoarthritis will be manifested differently:
During this stage, the degeneration is still new, cartilage may be slightly damaged. At this time, no clear narrowing of the gap between the bones for her to cartilage has been destroyed.
In stage 1, people with knee osteoarthritis do not feel much pain or discomfort. Even using X-rays may not detect abnormalities in the knee joint during this period.
The symptoms of knee osteoarthritis in stage 2 begin to become more noticeable, and doctors can detect some specific signs of wear and tear by using x-rays.
The space between the bones will be normal, but the bone surface and exposed tissues will harden. This causes the knee joint to stiffen and begin to develop a thin layer of bone under the cartilage.
People with knee osteoarthritis experience symptoms such as pain and stiffness. The area around the knee joint may become stiff and uncomfortable after waking up or sitting for long periods.
Although there may be some minor damage, the bones do not rub or collide. Because, the synovial fluid is still present to help reduce friction and increase knee movement.
In stage 3, the damage to cartilage has progressed. The gap between the bones has narrowed and the cartilage may have been destroyed.
At this stage, people with knee osteoarthritis begin to feel pain and discomfort going to daily life. Jogging, walking, and kneeling can also be very uncomfortable. In particular, signs of inflammation can occur through symptoms such as swelling, redness and pain in the knee joint.
As joint degeneration progresses, cartilage continues to thin and rupture. The bone responds by becoming thicker and beginning to develop strongly under the cartilage layer, the risk of bone spikes in this case is very high.
The joint lining tissue is inflamed and may produce extra fluid to increase swelling. This can cause knee joint effusion or serious knee problems.
Stage 4 is considered the most severe stage of knee osteoarthritis. At this stage, the symptoms of arthritis are noticeable. The joint space between the bones is reduced further, causing cartilage to break even further.
This progression can make the joint stiff and lead to constant inflammation, at which little fluid is released from the joint. The bones were collided and rubbed against each other causing severe pain when the patient moved.
X-rays will show abnormalities on the knee joint.
In this severe case, the knee joint may be deformed and painful due to asymmetric cartilage loss.
Osteoarthritis progresses in stages. People with knee osteoarthritis should pay attention to these stages and symptoms of knee osteoarthritis encountered to be able to best control the disease situation.
The harm caused by the disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Osteoarthritis is a leading cause of disability in adults.
About 80% of people with knee osteoarthritis have some limited movement.
About 25% of people with knee osteoarthritis are unable to perform major activities in their daily lives.
In addition to causing pain and difficulty in moving. There are several ways that knee osteoarthritis can affect your life including:
- Sleep: A swollen, stiff and painful knee joint may interfere with a good night’s sleep. Not getting enough sleep can make your pain worse. Joint stiffness and motion limits can also make you uncomfortable sleeping in bed.
- Reduced productivity: Many people with knee osteoarthritis miss many days of work each year. Osteoarthritis of the knee can also reduce the ability to perform everyday activities such as housework, cooking, dressing …
- Weight gain: Pain and stiffness in the knee joint can reduce a person’s desire to function. They may stop participating in activities, do little exercise, even walk. The lack of activity for a long time can cause unhealthy weight gain. The extra weight can then cause more complications for a degenerated knee. Moreover, weight gain may be at risk for complications such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
- Anxiety and depression: Research on the relationship between anxiety and depression and knee osteoarthritis shows that the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis have a negative impact on the mental health of patients. More than 40% of participants reported increased anxiety and depression due to symptoms of degeneration.