Knee Osteoarthritis

What is Knee Osteoarthritis?

The knee joint is made up of the top of the tibia (the top of the shin bone) and the lower end of the femur (thigh bone). The patella is a bone at the front of the knee and moves up and down as the knee bends and straightens.

Movement of the bones cause friction between the surfaces, thus all the articulating surfaces are covered with a slippery layer called articular cartilage which allows the bones in the knee to move against each other with minimal friction.

Bones of the knee joint are held together by ligments. Within the knee joint between the femur and the tibia are 2 structures called the menisci. They help in load bearing and also act as a cushion between the femur and the tibia by absorbing shock during activities.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis affecting the knee. It is ‘wear and tear’ of the knee joint and commonly affects older people. Essentially, over time, the joint surface cartilage wears away. In worst scenario, the raw bone is exposed and bones grind against each other during movement.


Pain, swelling, stiffness and reduced movement in the joint.
Stiffness after sitting for long periods of time.
The pain can ease with gentle movement.
Knee can crunch or creak during movement.


This is by clinical examination and usually followed with x-rays of the joint to confirm the diagnosis. Sometimes an MRI may be required.


Non operative

  • Medication such as anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Steroid injections
  • PRP injections
  • Lifestyle changes – eg weight loss if overweight
  • Physiotherapy – moderate exercise program


When non-operative treatments do not provide relief, surgery can be considered. This is usually in the form of a knee replacement, where the whole joint is replaced (total knee replacement) or where only half is replaced (unicompartmental knee replacement). Other surgical procedures may be to straighten the knee (osteotomy).

Mr Chowdhry will discuss all options and tailor a treatment plan according to the patients needs.