Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a common condition that affects the cartilage, a smooth, flexible tissue that cushions the ends of bones in the knee joint. Over time, the cartilage in the knee joint can wear down and become rough, leading to pain, stiffness, inflammation and loss of function in the knee.Contact Us +44 (0)208 004 6659
Knee osteoarthritis is most common in adults over the age of 50, and the risk of developing it increases with age. Women are more likely than men to develop knee osteoarthritis, especially after menopause. Other factors that increase the risk of knee osteoarthritis include:
The main symptoms of knee osteoarthritis include:
Pain in the knee, especially when walking, climbing stairs, or getting in and out of chairs.
Stiffness in the knee, especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity.
Difficulty bending or straightening the knee fully.
Crepitus, or grating or clicking sounds, when moving the knee and particularly when walking up and down stairs, and with squats or lunges.
Symptoms may worsen gradually over time and may fluctuate depending on the level of activity. Activities that involve weight-bearing, such as walking, climbing stairs, or standing for long periods, can aggravate the pain and discomfort.
Diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis typically involves a physical examination, medical history review, and imaging tests.
Treatment for knee osteoarthritis focuses on managing symptoms, slowing the progression of the condition, and improving function. Non-surgical treatments are usually tried first, and surgery is considered if non-surgical measures fail to provide adequate relief.
Corticosteroid injections can be an effective way of reducing inflammation and pain in the knee joint. At The Joint Injection Clinic, corticosteroid injections are performed after a thorough consent process, where the risk and benefits of the procedure are discussed in detail with your doctor. The experienced medical doctor will then place you in a lying position with the knee bent to 90 degrees. The skin is cleaned using a cleaning solution to ensure that the procedure is performed under sterile conditions. The knee joint injection is performed with a small dose of steroid and local anaesthetic, targeting either an area above the kneecap, called the suprapatellar recess, or on the inside of the knee joint, underneath the kneecap.
The injection itself is normally completed within 30-60 seconds, after which a plaster is applied and post-injection advice is given. The patient is advised to look out for any signs of infection, specifically to check whether the local area becomes red, hot, tender, swollen or if they develop a fever. If this occurs then the patient is asked to contact the clinic immediately at which time a formal reassessment will occur and if needed oral antibiotics can be prescribed. The patient is also warned that following any injection they may notice a short-term worsening or flare in their symptoms after the local anaesthetic has worn off (4-5 hours). This may last for 3-5 days and the patient is advised to consider icing of the area using an ice pack for 10-15 minutes every hour as required.
If non-surgical treatments fail to provide adequate relief, surgery may be considered. Surgical options for knee osteoarthritis include:
Surgery is typically considered for patients with severe knee osteoarthritis that significantly impacts their quality of life and limits their ability to perform daily activities, who have failed conservative management.