Arthritis of the Knee

  • Orthopedic Specialty Center
  • 192 Tilley Drive
    South Burlington, VT 05403
  • Phone: 802-847-2663
  • Fax: 802-847-3792
  • Monday-Friday, 8 AM-5 PM
  • Directions

Arthritis of the knee is a disease that wears away the cartilage in the knee joint. Cartilage is a tough yet flexible connective tissues found in many areas of our bodies, including the joints.

Arthritis of the Knee: What You Need to Know

Prevention

Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent arthritis of the knee. In addition, exercise is important as it strengthens the muscles around the joint, preventing wear and tear. Overstressing the joint through sports or strenuous exercise can place a person at higher risk, so athletes should take precautions to avoid injury.

Teamwork

Fletcher Allen doctors use a collaborative approach to treating arthritis of the knee. Your team may include a number of different specialists working together to manage your care.

Technology

We use the most sophisticated medical technology available for diagnosing and treating arthritis, including the latest advances in imaging scans and complex orthopedic surgery.

Personalized care

Fletcher Allen doctors tailor a course of treatment specifically for you. Your treatment will depend the cause and severity of your arthritis. 

Experience, trusted expertise

At Fletcher Allen, our orthopedic specialists have years of experience diagnosing and treating arthritis of the knee. You can feel confident knowing you have placed your care in experienced and skilled hands.

What is arthritis of the knee?

The term “arthritis” means joint inflammation. There are many different types of arthritis:

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is also called "wear and tear" arthritis, because the condition develops over many years. It is a slowly progressive, degenerative disease, which occurs when inflammation or injury to the joint causes the cartilage to break down. The breakdown leads to pain and swelling in the joint. Osteoarthritis most often occurs in patients who are 50 years of age or older. 

Risk factors include:

  • Family history
  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Previous injuries or disorders
  • Repetitive stress injuries, often relating to a person’s job
  • Athletics

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when joint lining becomes inflamed due to systemic disease. This can lead to severe deterioration of multiple joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning the body’s own immune system is attacking healthy cells and tissues. Doctors do not know what causes the disease, though they believe genetic factors play a role. Rheumatoid arthritis usually occurs when people reach middle age, though it can develop earlier. It is more common among women.

Post-traumatic arthritis

This type of arthritis occurs after an injury to the knee, though it may take years to develop.

Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis affects some people who have psoriasis, a serious skin condition. The symptoms can range from relatively mild to severe, and they can affect any part of the body. Patients may experience periods of flare-ups alternating with periods of remission.

Risk factors include:

  • Psoriasis
  • Family history of the disease
  • Age 
  • Gender

Diagnosis and Treatment: Arthritis of the Knee 

If you experience symptoms of knee arthritis, including joint stiffness or pain, make an appointment with your doctor. We want to help you manage your condition and improve your quality of life.

At Fletcher Allen, we will perform a careful diagnosis and create a personalized treatment plan for you. Treatment options include lifestyle changes, medication and surgery. 

Learn more about knee arthritis diagnosis and treatment.

Find a Fletcher Allen physician or call 802-847-2663.