Stages of Knee Osteoarthritis

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Osteoarthritis of the knees is typically classified into 4 stages. Stage 1(Minor) shows some minor bone spur growth. Bone spurs are overgrowths of bone that can cause minor loss of cartilage due to repetitive movement. This is actually the body’s own healing response to create additional cartilage and bone to injury. However, this response goes unchecked and eventually creates additional bone, called spurs or osteophytes. 

The cartilage is important because it is an elastic tissue that coats the surface of the bone and allows fluid movement. In Stage 2 (Mild), pain begins to become a noticeable symptom for the patient. Bone spurs are larger, but the cartilage is still relatively healthy. The patient might begin to experience stiffness, pain with long walks or runs, and/or pain with bending. 

In stage 3 (Moderate), the cartilage within the knee has noticeable signs of damage and loss of size. The patient will experience frequent pain with walking, joint stiffness after rest, and joint swelling after prolonged activity.

 In stage 4 (Severe), the cartilage is almost gone to the point that the bones are rubbing on each other (bone on bone). Without any lubricant or inflamed fluid, the joint may become immobile with pain upon movement.

If you are experiencing symptoms of knee osteoarthritis or knee pain, we are here to help. Dr. Steven Sampson and  Dr. Danielle Aufiero are Los Angeles’ leading sports medicine experts. Visit us today to Find out more about the noninvasive treatment options that they offer.

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