People suffering from Osteoarthritis of the knee will usually have knee swelling and pain as a result. Knee arthritis usually starts to develop in middle age and gradually gets worse as the knee joint degenerates further.
Osteoarthritis is usually caused by overuse of the knee or a knee injury that causes the knee joint to become weakened.
Osteoarthritis is common in retired athletes.
Understanding the anatomy of the knee can help you better understand how osteoarthritis can develop in the knee and can also help you better prevent yourself from getting it by looking after your knees the right way!
The knee consists of a synovial joint. A synovial joint is when a joint is protected by a capsule filled with synovial fluid.
The femur bone and the tibia are both protected by cartilage to help protect against friction when the joint moves.
The knee joint also has shock absorbing Fibrocartilage known as the Menisci. You have two menisci located at the top of the tibia bone which protect the Hyaline cartilage.
Hyaline cartilage is meant to be smooth to help with movement of the knee however both Menisci are susceptible to osteoarthritis and can wear away through overuse or injury of the knee joint. Once the the Menisci degenerates this leaves the Hyaline cartilage which protects the shin bone to become more exposed to friction, inflammation and damage. If the the Hyaline cartilage becomes frayed and start to crack and cause micro fractures in the bones surface exposing the shin bone underneath leading to server pain when moving the knee joint. As defense to this your body will attempt to protect the bone from further damage by thickening of the bone. However this can cause imbalances in itself and make things worse.
Preventing the degeneration of your knee joint by protecting your knees in sport is one of the best things you can do as prevention definitely is better that the cure when it comes to arthritis.
Wearing a knee support that gives your knees protection from shocks creating less strain on the Menisci by taking some of the shocks for them preventing them from wearing away.
You can also wear shock absorbing insoles to help minimize shock from the ground when running or walking traveling up to your knees and causing damage to the ligaments.
Resting and wearing gear that gives you more protection and support when you suffer from a knee injury is really important as your knee will be weakened and more easily damaged through even the smallest of pressure or shocks.