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8 Common Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis (OA)

What do golf superstar Tiger Woods, basketball legend Kobe Bryant and Hollywood actor Patrick Stewart all have in common? They are famous examples of people who live with  Osteoarthritis (OA). Also known as degenerative or “wear and tear” arthritis, OA is the most common form of arthritis. Learn more about Knee Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis most often occurs in the knee joint. In Singapore, a National Health Surveillance Survey (NHSS) conducted in 2013 found that the estimated national prevalence of knee OA was 11%. Women were more likely to be affected than men. Knee OA was more prevalent among Indian ethnicity (20.5%), followed by Malay (17.7%), and Chinese (9.3%).

Unsurprisingly, knee osteoarthritis is more likely to occur with increasing age. In recent years, however, the prevalence of Knee Osteoarthritis in younger people between the ages of 18-50 years old has been steadily rising. This trend is the result of a rising interest in sports and consequently, knee injuries.

With the knowledge that knee osteoarthritis is so common, it is therefore important to recognise the 8 Common Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis.

8 Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis

Knee Osteoarthritis (OA)

1. Pain

This is the most common symptom and is typically worse on waking up in the morning or after an extended period of inactivity. In severe cases, the pain can be excruciating and result in disability.

2. Stiffness

Again, stiffness is worse in the morning or after a period of inactivity. The stiffness usually reduces after a short period of walking about.

3. Swelling

This tends to occur at the end of a long day and particularly if a lot of standing or walking was involved.

4. A “Grating” or “Crunching” Sensation

A person with knee osteoarthritis can either hear this or feel it when placing a hand on the knee cap while bending or straightening the knee. This occurs due to degenerated meniscus and cartilage, loss of synovial fluid and the presence of bone spurs.

5. Decreased Range of Motion

This occurs in the late stages of knee osteoarthritis. Some people are not even able to fully straighten their knees at all.

6. Locking or “Jamming” of the joint

This happens when the meniscus is degenerated or torn and flaps about during joint movement. Another reason is due to fragments of bone or soft tissue floating within the joint space.

7. Joint Instability

In the late stages of knee OA, the soft tissues of the joint are severely damaged. This includes ligaments, which play a crucial role in maintaining joint stability.

8. Joint Deformity

This also occurs in the late stages of Knee Osteoarthritis. Severe soft tissue damage and joint space narrowing affect the alignment of the knee joint. The knees start to appear bowed and deformed.

If you or any of your loved ones are experiencing these symptoms, speak to your doctor to learn about the available Knee Osteoarthritis treatment options.

Our Siglap Branch also provides a range of joint pain diagnosis & treatment. You can call us at +65 6962 2144 or drop us an email at hello@dtapclinic.com for an appointment with our doctor.

Take care!


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