Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms of osteoarthritis vary, depending on which joints are affected and how severely they are affected. These signs tend to build and worsen over time rather than show up suddenly.
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Gradual Increase in Pain
Arthritis pain is more likely develop slowly over an extended period of time. You tend to feel the pain when you kneel, climb stairs or stand up from your seat. It may hurt when you walk a long distance, or stiff when you’ve been doing nothing.
Swelling or Tenderness
Knee osteoarthritis may cause periodic inflammation, due to the formation of bone spurs in the knee. The swelling may be more obvious after a long period of inactivity, such as when you first wake up in the morning.
As the muscles in your knee weaken over time, the entire joint structure can become unstable. This causes your knee to give way or buckle. You may feel like your knee locks up, preventing you from bending or straightening it.
You may feel a grinding sensation in your knees as you move. This is due to the loss of the smooth cartilage that helps your bones glide easily around each other. This grinding feeling is a result of rough surfaces and bone spurs rubbing over each other as you move your joints.
Poor Range of Motion
Osteoarthritis makes it quite difficult for the knee joints to glide as they should, making simple movements such as squatting or kneeling challenging or impossible. Osteoarthritis progressively wears away at cartilage. As arthritis worsens, it becomes harder for joints to function normally and it can become increasingly difficult to perform simple everyday tasks. In time, you may have trouble walking without the assistance of a cane or walker.