Knee Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Pain, Swelling, Stiffness, and Other Knee OA Symptoms

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) tends to develop gradually because it can take some time for your cartilage to wear down, which can cause symptoms of knee OA. However, it's possible (but not as common) for knee OA to develop suddenly.

You can have knee osteoarthritis in one or both of your knees, and pain isn't the only symptom of knee OA.

Below are some of the most common knee osteoarthritis symptoms.

  • Pain: Pain is a classic symptom of knee OA. The pain can make your knee feel sore and achy, weak or wobbly, or as if it will lock in place. Knee pain may be more intense when you move your knee, and it might be more noticeable after using it too much or after periods of being inactive.
  • Swelling and stiffness: Stiffness is a common symptom that can make the knee joint feel as if it is hard to bend or straighten. Fluid in the knee joint can accumulate, which can cause it to look swollen. If swelling and stiffness do not improve with rest or medications, it's a good idea to see your doctor.
  • Restricted movement: As the OA gets worse, it can cause limited movement in the joint that can make it hard to do simple tasks, such as climbing stairs, walking to the mailbox, or getting in and out of bed.

Symptoms such as pain and stiffness are often worse in the morning or after being inactive, while swelling usually occurs after a long period of excessive activity. And changes in the weather—when it's rainy and/or cold—can also make the pain and other knee OA symptoms feel worse.

Not everyone with knee osteoarthritis has the same symptoms. But if you experience any of the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, talk to your doctor right away. It's important for you to get the appropriate treatment for knee OA.

Updated on: 10/10/11
Continue Reading: Knee Osteoarthritis Causes