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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

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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7 Common Causes for Knee Pain

Knee pain affects people of all ages and affects sedentary individuals just as much as active athletes. The knee is one of our main weight-bearing joints, and also happens to be the joint most prone to injury. More often than not, we tend to take our knees for granted, and it is not until a serious injury occurs that we truly appreciate how important they actually are in our daily lives.

There is a multitude of causes for knee pain. Some are relatively mild conditions that can improve simply with proper rest, while some are serious and require prompt medical treatment or surgery.

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7 Common Causes of Knee Pain

(PS: Listed below, not in any particular order)

#1 Knee Osteoarthritis (OA)

Also known as degenerative arthritis or “wear and tear” arthritis, Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by cartilage degeneration and osteophyte formation, leading to joint space reduction and ultimately, bone rubbing against bone. Knee Osteoarthritis tends to occur with increased age, but there are many other risk factors that also predispose one to OA. Other than knee pain, people with OA typically experience joint stiffness, swelling, reduced range of motion and deformity.

#2 Ligament Injury

The ligaments of the knee joint work together to provide stability. Ligaments are strong, tough bands of fibrous tissue, but can be strained or ruptured as a result of excessive physical forces. For example, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury may occur as a result of a sudden change in direction or twisting of the knee, most commonly when playing sports such as basketball or football. More than one ligament may be involved, and sometimes meniscal injuries can occur in conjunction with ligament injuries.

#3 Meniscal Injury

The menisci are two thick crescent-shaped pads of cartilage that act as shock absorbers and also reduce friction. They can tear when the knee undergoes a twisting motion while it is bent, usually as a result of playing sports. They can also be worn out with increasing age, overuse and obesity. Other concurrent symptoms include locking or “jamming”, difficulty straightening the knee, and swelling.

#4 Patella Dislocation

A twisting injury or direct blow to the knee can cause the kneecap to slip completely out of place, leading to intense pain on movement. This is known as patella dislocation. When the kneecap slips partially out of place, it is called a subluxation. There are other factors that increase the risk of patella dislocation, such as hyperflexible joints and weak quadriceps muscles.

This condition occurs more frequently in athletic teenagers. The initial treatment requires prompt relocation of the patella by a trained medical professional, followed by rehabilitation. Without physiotherapy, the chance of recurrence is 50% and eventually, surgery may be required.

#5 Gout

Gout is caused by excessive buildup of uric acid crystals in the affected joint. Repeated attacks to the same joint over time eventually leads to joint erosion and arthritis. Gout tends to occur in only large joints, and usually, only one joint is affected at any one time.

Symptoms can come on acutely, and patients typically suffer from intense pain and swelling of the joint. Gout is usually diagnosed clinically. If there is any doubt, the gold standard test performed is knee joint aspiration, whereby the presence of uric acid crystals confirms the diagnosis.

#6 Fracture

Knee fracture can occur as a result of trauma (eg. road traffic accident) or falls. People who have fragile bones due to osteoporosis may sustain a knee fracture by simply tripping or stepping wrong. The pain may be excruciating but sometimes can simply present as a nagging ache. Depending on the type of fracture and the location within the knee joint, treatment may be conservative with cast immobilization, or surgery.

#7 Patellar Tendonitis

Patellar tendonitis, also known as jumper’s knee, refers to inflammation in the patellar tendon located just below the kneecap. It is more common in people who participate in sports that require frequent jumping, such as basketball and volleyball. However, it can occur in non-athletes as well. The pain is felt at the location of the patella tendon in the front of the knee.

The above are some of the common causes of Knee Pain. If you wish to speak to our doctors about Knee Pain issues, please drop us an email at hello@dtapclinic.com ,or you can call us at +65 6962 2144 or visit our Siglap Branch (joint pain clinic).
Take Care!


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