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Knee Pain from Arthritis

Written by: Dr. Frederick Buechel, Jr.

What Is Arthritis Knee Pain?

Arthritis is the general term for joint inflammation. Arthritis usually causes pain, swelling, stiffness, loss of motion and reduction in activity level when it occurs in the knee. Treatment depends on the type of arthritis each person presents with.

What Causes Knee Pain From Arthritis?

Arthritis can be the result of many disease processes in the knee, which include:

  • Osteoarthritis (degenerative cartilage wear-down condition)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory cartilage destructive disease)
  • Psoriatic arthritis (inflammatory cartilage destructive disease)
  • Gout (crystalline deposit disease from uric acid levels that are elevated)
  • Infections (bacterial, viral, fungal, Lyme Disease)

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Knee Pain From Arthritis?

The common symptom of knee pain from arthritis are:


  • Pain in the knee that a person can point to on one side of the knee or the other, or just under the kneecap. (This can be an indication to be a candidate for partial knee replacement)
  • Pain that is located all around the knee, not on just one side or under the kneecap alone. (This can be an indication to be a candidate for total knee replacement)
  • Pain in the knee when walking
  • Pain getting up from a seated position
  • Pain going up and/or downstairsKnee Pain from Arthritis
  • Dull or aching pain
  • Stiffness in the knee
  • Swelling of the knee joint
  • Loss of motion in the knee
  • Decreased walk distance
  • Limping
  • Reduction in activities of daily living
  • Reduction in sports and exercise activities

What Are The Possible Treatments For Knee Pain With Arthritis?

Knee pain from arthritis has many treatment options, including non-surgical and surgical options. It is best to begin with the least invasive lowest risk options that give the greatest pain relief and improvement of function. When the less risky and less invasive options no longer provide relief, then more advanced treatment options are considered.

What Are The Risks If Arthritis In The Knee Is Left Untreated?

Yes, you can leave knee pain from osteoarthritis untreated. Unlike cancer or heart disease, osteoarthritis left untreated will not shorten your life. However, it will reduce your quality of life. Managing your quality of life, reducing pain and increasing function is what treating knee osteoarthritis is all about. There are non-surgical and surgical ways to treat knee osteoarthritis. As far as leaving knee pain in general untreated, first I believe you should diagnose the problem and discuss the treatment options with each patient. Only after discussing the options with the patient should we leave it up to the patient to decide how they wish us to help treat their condition, or not.
Frederick F. Buechel, Jr. MD

Meet Frederick F. Buechel, Jr. MD

Frederick Buechel, Jr., MD is an internationally renowned orthopedic knee surgeon, an international instructor, and an expert in the field of Robotic Partial Knee Replacement and Robotic Total Knee Replacement.

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Meet Frederick F. Buechel Jr. MD

Frederick F. Buechel Jr. MD is an internationally renowned Orthopaedic Surgeon who is Fellowship Trained in Knee and Hip Joint Replacement and specializes in robotic partial knee replacement, robotic total knee replacement, and knee meniscus surgery. Learn More »

Select Relevant Publications

Buechel F., Buechel F., Conditt M. (2016) Robotic-Arm Assisted Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty (MAKO). In: Scuderi G., Tria A. (eds) Minimally Invasive Surgery in Orthopedics. Springer, Cham. Link to Article

Buechel FF Sr, Buechel FF Jr, Pappas MJ, Dalessio J. Twenty-year evaluation of the New Jersey LCS Rotating Platform Knee Replacement. The journal of knee surgery. 2002 Spring;15(2):84-9. Link to Article

Buechel, Frederick F. Sr. MD; Buechel, Frederick F. Jr. MD; Pappas, Michael J. PhD; D'Alessio, Jerry MS. Twenty-Year Evaluation of Meniscal Bearing and Rotating Platform Knee Replacements. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. July 2001 - Volume 388 - Issue - pp 41-50. Link to Article

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