Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic type of inflammation that occurs symmetrically, affecting key joints of the body such as hands, knees, ankles, feet, hips, elbows and shoulders. The condition is more likely to affect women than men and is common in those who are aged 40 and above, though it can most certainly occur in much younger persons as well. It is blamed for a number of symptoms that include joint swelling and pain, stiffness and types of deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis in the knee can be particularly painful and cause severe restrictions to one's freedom of movement. Although there is no known cure as yet, the condition can still be managed to a fair degree.
Before we discuss rheumatoid arthritis of the knee let us look at this particular joint which is very important when it comes to mobility. Around the ends of the bones is the cartilage and this prevents the bones from rubbing against each other. Between the two cartilages of the particular bones is a small pouch that is covered with a thin tissue known as synovium and this secretes a liquid that helps keep the joint lubricated. When the synovium is affected as a result of the rheumatoid arthritis condition, the functions of the various parts that make up the knee get affected and fail to function as they should.
Common symptoms of this disease's effects on the knee include pain, swelling and inflammation, stiffness, a warm feeling around the knee, fever, flu symptoms and fatigue. While the exact cause for the disease in general and its effects on the knee are unknown even as of now, it is widely believed that genetics and living environments play a part in who is affected by it and who is not. Rheumatoid arthritis of the knee is diagnosed based on symptoms pretty much along the lines of general rheumatoid arthritis. Blood tests and X rays to verify the damage to joint are also used in the diagnostic process for this condition. A test of the fluid between the joints can also help diagnose the condition as a high level of inflammatory material therein will indicate rheumatoid arthritis affecting the said joint.
There are a few time tested treatments available for rheumatoid arthritis of the knee. Common types of medication include aspirins, acetaminophen (or Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Most of these treatments are targeted at the pain as there is no cure to completely eradicate the condition. Regular exercises targeting the health of the joints can also be recommended as a practice to keep the condition in check. Excess weight can meanwhile compound the condition as the excess weight places a disproportionate stress and pressure on them. As such it is best to maintain a weight that is recommended for your height or to reduce weight via a suitable diet plan in case you are overweight.
In a worst case scenario where damage to the joints is severe, a replacement procedure may be required. This last resort surgery can be expected to produce a successful outcome thanks to modern day advances in procedures of the sort.