What Are the Signs of Knee Arthritis

Arthritis is a common condition that currently afflicts almost a quarter of adults in the United States. When it comes to the knee, arthritis is a condition that mainly occurs among those over the age of 50, but younger people can also get knee arthritis, especially if they have a history of participating in high-impact sports. Here at TJN Orthopaedics in Thousand Oaks, California, we offer a variety of treatments for people suffering from knee arthritis. 

Since knee arthritis is a common condition, most people only know that the symptoms include pain and stiffness. But pain and stiffness are common symptoms for a variety of knee ailments, so how can you tell whether you are suffering from an arthritic knee or whether you have another kind of knee injury? Some telltale signs are described below, but it’s always best to visit a specialist to get a professional diagnosis. Here are some of the most common symptoms of knee arthritis so you can figure out whether you should visit us. Once we make an accurate diagnosis, we can determine the best treatment for you.

Joint Stiffness and Pain 

As noted above, stiffness and pain in your knee joint are common symptoms of arthritis. In arthritis, these symptoms are generally chronic and not the result of some specific event. The pain and stiffness often increase or do not go away over time. In fact, it is usually the unrelenting pain that brings patients in to see a doctor. 

Arthritic knees can be painful in multiple ways. While some people experience a dull pain that builds slowly, others report a quick and sharp sensation. If you have arthritis, you might notice that you feel worse just before the weather worsens or during rainfall. When it is sunny outside, most patients don’t have as much pain in their arthritic knees.


If your joints make noises when you move, the sound is called “crepitus” in medical circles. Depending on the exact location and type of tissue involved, the sound may include cracking, popping, creaking, grinding, crunching, or clicking when you move your knee. The older you get, the more likely you will have this issue. Sometimes, the patient is the only one who can hear it, but it is often loud enough for other people to notice.

Crepitus by itself isn’t necessarily a reason for assuming that you have arthritis because it can also be caused by air bubbles popping inside your joint. However, you should speak to your doctor if the noise is accompanied by pain or if the crepitus worsens. You could have arthritis or some other medical condition.

Problems When Walking 

Many patients with arthritis also experience swelling of the knee and problems when walking. You might notice that your knee locks up while you are trying to bend it or that it gives way unexpectedly. This, combined with the pain you feel when you move your knee, can cause significant issues when walking. Treatments such as arthroscopy, MAKO joint repair, or a total knee replacement allow you to regain your lost mobility.

Swelling and Redness

Believe it or not, arthritis can manifest itself through external signs, such as swelling and redness in the knee. If your knee is visibly altered, make an appointment with a knee specialist to find out the cause.

Loss of Range of Motion

Another common symptom of arthritis in your knee is that you cannot move your joint as far as you used to. In addition to being stiff, your knee may not bend or straighten all the way.
If you have joint stiffness and knee pain that gets worse in rainy weather, frequent crepitus, problems when walking, or any other symptoms that indicate you may have arthritis, see your doctor. Even if your problem is not arthritis, you will need to get your knee checked out and get treatment. The best way forward is to speak to a specialist who can confirm the diagnosis and let you know your options. Get in touch with us today at TJN Ortho to book an appointment with Dr. Gregory H. Tchejeyan and find out whether you could benefit from treatment.