Conditions

Osteoarthritis (Knee)

About Osteoarthritis (Knee)

Many people develop osteoarthritis during middle age or older. A common condition, it can occur in any joint in the body, but most often develops in weight-bearing joints, such as the knee. Knee arthritis causes pain and stiffness. It can make it hard to do everyday activities.

Osteoarthritis results when the cartilage in the knee joint gradually wears away over time. As the cartilage wears away, it becomes frayed and rough, and the protective joint space between the bones decreases. To make up for the lost cartilage, the damaged bones may start to grow outward and form bone spurs. Osteoarthritis develops slowly and the pain it causes worsens over time. Osteoarthritis has no single specific cause, but there are certain factors that may make you more likely to develop the disease, including increasing age, a family history of osteoarthritis, a previous injury to the knee joint, or obesity.

Because osteoarthritis gradually worsens over time, the sooner you start treatment, the more likely it is that you can lessen its impact on your life. Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are many treatment options to help you manage pain and stay active. However, your doctor may recommend surgery if your pain from arthritis causes disability and is not relieved with nonsurgical treatment.

Related Information

Our Specialists

Locations

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute Hip and Knee Center

  • Phone: 410-554-2270
  • Fax: 410-554-2832

Timonium

  • Phone: 410-560-3480

The Curtis National Hand Center

  • Phone: (410) 235-5405
  • Fax: (410) 467-5459

Waugh Chapel

  • Phone: (410) 451-8140
  • Fax: (410) 451-8141

Westminster

  • Phone: (410) 751-8800
  • Fax: (410) 751-9354

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

  • Phone: (410) 554-2270
  • Fax: (410) 554-2832

Bel Air

  • Phone: 410-877-8088
  • Fax: (410) 877-8083

Ellicott City

  • Phone: (410) 772-2000
  • Fax: (410) 772-2039