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What Is Arthritis of the Knee?
Most of the time, arthritis of the knee is usually osteoarthritis - basically, it means that the cartilage in the knee joint has worn out so much that the femur and tibia bones are touching and grinding against each other, causing pain and swelling.
In some cases, one can develop rheumatoid arthritis that can also affect our knees. In this situation, the knee joint becomes inflamed (swollen) and this inflammation may erode and destroy the cartilage too.
Arthritis doesn't only involves/affect joints but can also affect supporting structures such as muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Osteoarthritis is usually caused by wear and tear, which means because of use over a period of time. However, it can be exacerbated and accelerated by:
- any abnormal joint deformities
- repeated injury
- overweight/excess weight
Most of the time, it affects middle-aged and older people (as it's a wear-and-tear condition normally). In cases where younger people develop osteoarthritis is likely due to
- genetical inheritance of the disease
- untreated/unresolved prolonged inflammation/irritation in the knee from unrepaired ligament or meniscus
- rheumatoid arthritis also affects people at an earlier age compared to osteoarthritis
Signs and Symptoms of knee arthritis
A person who has developed knee arthritis may experience:
- pain (mild to severe)
- knee stiffness/decrease in knee range of motion
One of the most common symptom of knee arthritis is knee stiffness in the morning that gradually improves as one slowly moves around.
In some cases, the knee joint "locks" or "click" when the knee is bent and/or straightened, but these clicking can be caused by other knee conditions as well.
The doctor and/or physiotherapist may confirm your knee diagnosis by performing a physical examination and send you to get a knee X-ray done, which confirms when the joints are clearly having less/smaller joint space.
Blood tests may be done to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, but other tests may be needed too such as drawing fluid from the knee to undergo lab tests to confirm what type of knee arthritis it is.
Treatment for knee arthritis
Most of the time, osteoarthritis of the knee is treated with a combination of pain-reducing medicines such as the NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as Arcoxia, Ultracet etc as well as physiotherapy.
What knee physiotherapy will focus on is primarily:
- decrease pain by managing inflammation with ice therapy, ultrasound therapy, deep tissue release for muscles that are spasming
- gently and gradually increase knee range of motion in a pain-free manner
- knee strengthening exercises to strengthen the muscles of the knee to take more load and distribute load (especially helpful post injuries or with patients who had deconditioned due to lack of exercise or injury)
- helping with weight management and weight loss will help offload weight and load
For patients with knee rheumatoid arthritis, they definitely need more physiotherapy and more powerful medication. If the joint integrity of the knee is in severe condition and there is too much pain, and patients have a seriously injured knee joint, patients may be advised to undergo a Total Knee Replacement (TKR) to replace the knee joint with an artificial knee.
After a total knee replacement operation, patients need to undergo a lot of physiotherapy to improve the range of motion, decrease pain, reactivate and retrain muscles (muscles tend to deactivate post surgery due to pain) and improve walking, jogging and other knee-related movements.
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Our Physio & Rehab Expertise
Specialist Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and specialist rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.
Areas of specialization
- physiotherapy: back and neck (spine), sports, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle
- hand therapy: forearm, wrist, hand and fingers
- podiatrist: leg, calf, ankle, foot and toes
- read more on our specializations here
All our therapists are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCM). See our entire team here by location and specialization.
Initially, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough
assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to
help you recover. They then provide
expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific
exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term
To call for inquiries or appointments, please contact us at:
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SPECIALIST REHAB APPOINTMENTS & ENQUIRIES
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We are a wholly Singapore Private Limited group of licensed physiotherapists, hand therapists, podiatrists, chiropractors, sports massage therapists, clinical pilates practitioners and TCM physicians practicing in our scope of rehabilitation and its areas of specializations. As listed in our website are the list of services we provide our clients as referred by their medical doctors or by self referrals/word of mouth.
The range of rehabilitation results vary from patients to patients, depending on a variety of factors and reasons such as severity of condition, genetics, gender and age. However, we will still deliver the best evidence-based-practice of physiotherapy, hand therapy, TCM, sports training and deep tissue release therapy that we can deliver.
The information available on this site is for educational purposes only, if you need a full professional advise on physiotherapy, hand therapy and occupational therapy, please schedule an appointment with us by contacting our staff by Call/SMS/WhatsApp at xx, thanks!