Excessive use of the knee can cause the cartilage in the joint to wear away. Without healthy cartilage, the knee is susceptible to pain and inflammation, and must be treated properly.
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The knee joint is made up of the femur (thigh bone), tibia (leg bone), and patella (knee cap). Within the joint is articular cartilage, smooth connective tissue that cushions the joint and allows for smooth movement.
Osteoarthitis, or degenerative joint disease, is a disease in which the cartilage thins and may even completely wear away.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis include deep pain, swelling, and stiffness in the knee, as well as a crunching or grinding sound with movement of the joint.
There are several causes of osteoarthritis, but the most common factor is overuse. Putting repetitive and excessive strain on the knee for a long period of time can damage the joint's cartilage.
There is no cure for arthritis but there are several treatment options. These include knee braces, ibuprofen, heat and cold treatments, and, if necessary, knee replacement.
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