Recognizing the potential signs of arthritis in the knees could save you a lot of future pain. These symptoms can present individually or with more than one symptom at a time. You may not feel concerned about early symptoms if they are not as severe or frequent. However, the more debilitating symptoms of arthritis can creep up on you.
There are several conditions that share symptoms with arthritis, including fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, spondyloarthropathies and lupus. Seeking diagnosis is therefore the first action you should take if you develop any of the following symptoms for a prolonged period of time.
Pain Around the Knee
Pain that radiates from the kneecap or centers at the back of the knee is often the first symptom of arthritis. The sensation may present with a constant concentration of pain in a particular area of the knee, or throbbing pain that is persistent.
If you begin to experience knee pain after activities such as walking or playing sports, it is always worth consulting with an orthopedic specialist. When pain is experienced when you wake up in the morning or after long periods of inactivity such as sitting down, the underlying cause could be arthritis.
Inflammation Around the Knee
Inflammation around the knee is a common symptom of arthritis. This symptom is usually accompanied by pain and discomfort. Swelling typically occurs during periods of rest but can also develop after moderate to strenuous activity. Walking when your knee is inflamed will prove difficult or impossible.
If you can get an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon while the knee is inflamed, it can help with diagnosis. Swelling in the knee results from a buildup of fluid, which presents in a way that is consistent with arthritis or similar conditions. Your doctor will examine the affected area to determine the potential cause of fluid building up.
Warmth Around the Joint
Warmth around the knee joint is one of the symptoms of arthritis that is most often ignored. The sensation is neither familiar and nor can it be mistaken for natural body heat. The warmth can become intense and cause considerable discomfort. In most cases, warmth is localized around the joint but can radiate outward into the calf or thigh.
Much like pain and discomfort, warmth around the joint can act as an early warning sign. It is worth consulting with an orthopedic specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis. Getting ahead of the condition can increase the effectiveness of treatment options. The more damage that occurs in the joint, the harder it is to manage the symptoms of arthritis.
Stiffness in the Knee Joint
A common symptom of arthritis, and one that is not easy to ignore, is stiffness in the joint. The degree to which mobility is limited will vary. This symptom usually presents early in the morning when the knee joint has been in the same position for much of the night. In extreme cases, the joint can lock completely and severely impede the ability to walk.
At Silicon Valley Orthopaedics, we can provide a comprehensive assessment of your symptoms and an accurate diagnosis. Our goal is to establish whether or not you are suffering from arthritis so that treatment can begin. Early intervention is key to slowing down or eliminating the degenerative effects of arthritis. Preserving the joint through targeted therapies and procedures will provide relief from the crippling symptoms you are experiencing, allowing for a much better quality of life.
Call the offices of Silicon Valley Orthopaedics today to learn more about the impact of arthritis in the knees.