The knee is a critical joint when it comes to bending the leg, supporting the weight of the body, or simply moving around. Patients who engage in physical labor, play sports, or lead active lifestyles may experience occasional knee pain. However, sometimes knee pain suggests arthritis. Knowing the difference can help patients get the timely care they need from medical providers.
Education and appropriate treatment can help reduce pain and prevent further damage. The experts at Knee Reflex Specialists are available to diagnose and provide nonsurgical treatments for knee arthritis from our offices in Portland, Oregon; Bellevue, Washington; and Tempe, Arizona.
Signs and Symptoms Arthritis in the Knee
One of the most common early symptoms of knee osteoarthritis (the most common cause of knee pain) is stiffness, especially after prolonged periods of sitting. Pain that is related to arthritis usually starts slowly. You may first notice it when walking up or down stairs or following certain activities such as hiking or playing pickle ball. The pain can progress to a point where it is present while walking on flat surfaces or when trying to sleep at night. Since this condition is chronic and progressive, the pain worsens over time and may get to a point where normal daily activities are painful.
Patients may notice swelling and tenderness in the knee joint. Experiencing restriction of movement is another possible symptom of arthritis. Other signs include feeling warm in the joint or hearing crackly or creaky sounds with movement.
Pain can also be caused by sprains and other knee injuries besides arthritis, which can result in a loss of function due to the presence of scar tissue or adhesions. This is why it’s important to schedule a comprehensive knee evaluation with a qualified provider when symptoms arise that may be related to injuries or arthritis.
Examination and Diagnosis of Knee Arthritis
A dynamic ultrasound knee assessment is a noninvasive imaging method that will be used during your knee exam. It can help assess the condition of knee structures, including the synovium lining, menisci, ligaments, and cartilage. This method of imaging can also identify the presence of a fluid pocket (effusion) or cysts.
A medical provider will also perform physical examination of the knee, and may ask the patient to twist, bend, or squat. Areas of swelling or pain will be evaluated. Once an accurate diagnosis is made, the team at Reflex Knee Specialists can recommend nonsurgical treatments to help alleviate the pain and help patients regain function and mobility for the long term.
Treatment Options for Arthritis in the Knee
The experts at Reflex Knee Specialists can help patients with arthritis in the knee, including osteoarthritis, which is the most common type of arthritis that causes cartilage to break down. While there is no cure for arthritis, there are a variety of options available to treat the symptoms and pain, as well as slow the progression of arthritis in the knee. The team at Reflex Knee Specialists takes a conservative approach designed to improve function and get patients moving. The following types of treatments are available for arthritis in the knee:
- Physical therapy
- PRP (Platelet-rich plasma) therapy
- Joint fluid therapy
- Knee bracing
- Knee pain supplements
Contact Reflex Knee Specialists for Help with Knee Pain
If you’re experiencing knee pain, it’s important to get it checked out by a professional. The team at Reflex Knee Specialists treats patients in Oregon, Washington, and Arizona and strives to improve function of the knee and reduce pain. As a result, we help patients keep up with their activities, sports, and daily lives. Knee pain doesn’t have to limit your activities. Contact us today to make an appointment and discuss arthritis symptoms with a qualified medical provider.