Knee Arthritis: Symptoms, Types and Treatment

Arthritis and knee pain come in many forms. Find out about the varying knee arthritis symptoms and treatments that offer relief for sufferers.

Arthritis is a disease of the joints. Knee arthritis symptoms may include pain, stiffness, swelling, and/or inflammation within the joints. 

Types of Arthritis and Knee Pain

These range from degenerative types of arthritis like osteoarthritis, to inflammatory types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout. Each condition has their own causes, symptoms and treatment options.


This is most often due to wear and tear of the knee joint and is age- and activity-related. Osteoarthritis may also be due to previous injuries of the knee as well as pre-existing malformations. 

This condition often affects individuals over the age of 50 but with increasingly active lifestyles, even younger people may be affected. 

In the early stages, sufferers can seek pain relief from knee arthritis with activity modification, medications and other non-surgical means. However in more severe cases, surgery may offer the best chance of long-lasting results, and this may range from simple procedures such as arthroscopy, to more complex operations, such as realignment surgeries and knee replacement.

Rheumatoid and Other Inflammatory Arthritis 

This group of diseases include rheumatoid, seronegative arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), psoriatic arthritis and other rare forms of arthritis. They are often autoimmune in nature and the disease process can often be suppressed with medication but not usually cured. 

Knee joints may become irreversibly damaged by these conditions. Joint replacement is often a recommended option that can yield excellent results.

Gout and Other Crystal Diseases 

These conditions are caused by the presence of various types of crystals within joints. Uric acid crystals give rise to gout, while calcium pyrophosphate crystals cause pseudogout. The crystals are responsible for pain, swelling and inflammation of joints, including the knee, ankle and foot joints. 

Medications can often control the acute attacks and dietary measures may help. In severely affected knee joints, total knee replacement can often give long-lasting relief.

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