Do you know that the knees are the most commonly affected joints due to arthritis? It is called osteoarthritis and is one of the most common types of arthritis. It causes severe pain, swelling, and stiffness, and it becomes worse as you get older. It is caused by the wear and tear of your knee joints. People of any age group can experience knee pain, but most commonly seen in people who are above 50.
Though it cannot be cured completely, different methods and treatments can be adapted to reduce your pain and discomfort.
Different Stages of Knee Pain (Osteoarthritis)
The following are the different stages of knee osteoarthritis:
- Stage 0 (Normal): Stage 0 is considered normal and your knee is healthy. You do not need to worry and you do not have any kind of arthritis. You do not need any treatment at stage 0.
- Stage 1 (Minor): Stage 1 is minor and your knee starts to damage due to wear and tear or an injury. Minor bone spurs start growing and they occur when the bones meet at the joint. People at this stage do not experience pain and discomfort as the wear and tear is very minimal. The doctor may prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements. You also need to practise regular exercise and should make lifestyle changes to prevent pain from progressing.
- Stage 2 (Mild): Stage 2 is a mild stage and you start noticing signs and symptoms as the cartilage starts thinning. Using an X-ray, the doctor can notice a growth in your bones called bone spurs. The bones still remain normal and they do not get rubbed against each other. Some of the signs include swelling, mild knee pain, discomfort, and stiffness. You should visit a doctor and use knee braces to get relief. Using OTC pain killers can also reduce the pain and provide relief.
- Stage 3 (Moderate): At this stage, the gap between the bones starts narrowing and the cartilage starts damaging heavily. People at this stage experience pain while walking, kneeling down, and running. The pain and stiffness at this stage is severe. You experience pain not only during physical activity, but also after staying inactive for a long time. The doctor may prescribe medications to relieve pain but you should not use them for a long time. Making changes in diet and physiotherapy can help manage the signs.
- Stage 4 (Severe): It is the severe stage and causes severe pain and discomfort while moving the joint or while walking. At this stage, the space between the bones get reduced severely and the cartilage completely disappears. As a result, the joint becomes stiff and becomes immobile. You can barely walk and your knee looks deformed. The synovial fluid also reduces and cannot prevent friction between the joints. The only treatment option at this stage is surgery. Different surgery options include bone realignment surgery, and total knee replacement surgery.
If you ever experience signs such as knee pain, stiffness, swelling or discomfort, you should immediately consider visiting a doctor to know the underlying cause. Several treatment options ranging from pain medications to knee replacement surgery are available to relieve your pain. The doctor can determine the right solution for you based on your condition and severity.
Experiencing Signs of Knee Pain? Meet Dr Suhas Masilamani Today
Dr Suhas Masilamani is an experienced orthopedic and joint replacement surgeon in Hyderabad with over 15 years of experience. He is a certified surgeon and has expertise at the diagnosis and treatment of various knee and joint problems. He has helped several patients suffering from knee pain and suggested the right treatment for them with a huge success rate. To prevent your condition from progressing, schedule your appointment today to discuss your issue.