Knee osteoarthritis

Knee osteoarthritis, also known as gonarthrosis, is the most common inflammatory condition of the knee. It affects nearly 65% of people 65 and over. It’s not a disease; it’s a form of arthritis. It can still have a major impact on a person’s life.

The knee is a very active joint that absorbs a lot of pressure during our day-to-day movements. These small impacts, accumulated over decades of active life, lead to the gradual deterioration of cartilage and, unfortunately, pain.

How do you recognize knee osteoarthritis?

When osteoarthritis sets in, certain actions become more painful. The pain can be so uncomfortable that it compromises natural joint motion, the mechanical movements we often do unconsciously:

  • Getting up or crouching
  • Getting out of bed in the morning
  • Just walking
  • Running
  • Occasional or repeated jumping
  • Taking a variety of postures (crossing the legs, turning the body, bending or extending a leg)

Some of the most common types of pain experienced by people with gonarthrosis include the following.


Joint stiffness

You may have noticed knee stiffness after a long period of sitting, or when getting out of bed in the morning. In other words, you can’t move your knee easily. Often, this stiffness dissipates after 20 to 30 minutes.


Joint pain

Unlike stiffness, joint pain is more severe and occurs when you use your knee. It extends deep and gives a sensation of increased pressure throughout the joint. Rest brings relief.



The joint tissues feel more spongy and warm to the touch, and are sometimes visibly swollen. Swelling is often related to inflammation, which causes fluid to build up in the joint.


Cracking sensations

Patients often report a “creaking” sensation in the knee bones or louder than usual cracking noises.


Joint instability and dysfunction

You notice that your knee doesn’t bend the way you want it to and doesn’t respond as well to your commands as before. Peripheral joints such as hips and ankles compensate for your pain. So it’s not uncommon to see a person with knee osteoarthritis experience ankle weakness, hip pain or other types of joint imbalances.


What causes knee osteoarthritis?

The most important factor in the development of this condition is undoubtedly age. The older we get, the harder it is for our bodies to regenerate. The tissues that make up the joints we use most over our lifetime, such as the hips and knees, are among the first to suffer.

The root cause of the problem, however, is the wear and tear of cartilage. This is caused by several factors, including pressure from long-term loads, excess weight, postural defects, heredity and more.


Why is knee osteoarthritis so painful?

The cartilaginous surfaces that cover and protect joint pressure points deteriorate, exposing the bony surfaces of the knee—which are more susceptible to pain than cartilage.


How can knee osteoarthritis pain be treated?

There’s no way to “cure” osteoarthritis per se. However, treatment options are available to relieve pain and improve natural joint function.

Here are three effective ways to relieve symptoms and prevent the further progression of knee osteoarthritis.


Small changes in lifestyle

Keep moving! Low-impact activities help reduce pain and optimize mobility in a knee with gonarthrosis. Swimming, cycling, walking and ball exercises are great examples. These activities optimize the quality of the tissues that make up the joint.

Also, when moving, your knees absorb a lot of your weight. Excess weight exacerbates the pain associated with osteoarthritis. A supervised weight loss program is something to consider if you’re overweight—one that will benefit your overall health.


Use of foot orthoses

Foot orthoses are custom designed. They slip into your shoe, under your foot. They help reduce pain by alleviating pressure and redistributing the load in a way that helps the lower limb joints (including the knee).

Use of knee orthoses

Knee orthoses optimize the space between the bony surfaces of the knee. They reduce friction, the source of the pain associated with knee osteoarthritis. The model is chosen based on activity type and osteoarthritis severity.

The EVOKETM orthosis is exclusive to Médicus. It’s discrete and mimics the natural movement of the knee. Lightweight and comfortable, it’s perfect for people who want to stay active.

Find out more from an orthotist at Médicus.

How do I know if I have knee osteoarthritis?

Don’t stay stuck in limbo. If you think you have knee osteoarthritis, see a healthcare professional. They will help you find the right solutions to ease your pain and prevent your quality of life from suffering.

Don’t hesitate to request a consultation with a Médicus professional to get advice and see our products for relieving knee osteoarthritis.