The knee joints play a powerful role in our day-to-day life, enabling the most basic function and movement. They’re also the joints most likely to display symptoms of osteoarthritis, manifested by pain, stiffness, swelling and limited range of motion. The South Florida orthopaedic experts at Fort Lauderdale Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine offer many non-surgical approaches to successfully treat these symptoms before knee replacement in Fort Lauderdale becomes a consideration. However, osteoarthritis of the knee doesn’t strike randomly; several factors may increase your risk for developing it.
1. Age. Over time, the knee joints experience wear and tear and cartilage thins and becomes less flexible, making it more prone to osteoarthritis. While adults of any age may develop knee osteoarthritis, it typically affects those age 45 and older.
2. Obesity. The knees are weight-bearing joints, therefore more than half of overweight or obese individuals are likely to develop knee osteoarthritis. Obese women suffer at higher rates than any other group.
3. Heredity. Certain genes have been linked to osteoarthritis. While the exact influence of genetics is not known, the CDC estimates 20-35% of incidences of knee arthritis may be inherited.
4. Injury. A previous knee injury, even one that happened decades ago, can develop into arthritis, which we term post-traumatic arthritis.
5. Overuse. People in occupations that demand repeated kneeling, squatting, heavy lifting or walking are vulnerable to repetitive stress injuries of the knee, and increased risk of developing osteoarthritis.
6. Other illnesses. Other problems with the knee, such as gout, knee infection or Lyme disease, increase risk for osteoarthritis.
It’s important to carefully manage those risk factors that you can control, namely weight and overuse, to prevent or lessen the onset of osteoarthritis of the knee and the subsequent need for knee replacement. If you suspect you could have osteoarthritis of the knee, call the experts at Fort Lauderdale Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. Our physicians will discuss with you how pain is affecting or limiting your life, and develop a plan for your care. Call our office today at (954) 400-5544 to schedule a consultation.