My Condition

Knee pain (Osteoarthritis)

A common cause of knee pain is osteoarthritis (OA) Osteoarthritis is a condition which can cause joint pain with varying degrees of functional limitation and effect on quality of life. It is common, affecting people all over the world and at least 8 million people in the UK.

Anyone can develop OA, the larger weight-bearing joints are most commonly affected – hips and knees. It develops in previously healthy joints, normally in people over 45. It can also develop in younger people after a fracture or similar injury.

It is twice as common in women as men, and more likely in people who are overweight.

Most patients with knee pain, including osteoarthritis, will be referred for a course of physiotherapy as the first step.

Surgery is for people who have severe symptoms and have tried other treatments without success.

Please note that knee arthroscopy for patients with osteoarthritis (keyhole surgery) is not routinely available on the NHS, unless there is a clear history of mechanical locking.

This is because alternative, more effective and less risky treatments, such as exercise programmes, losing weight (if necessary) and managing pain have been shown to result in more positive outcomes for patients. Please read the associated policy here.

Selfcare and more information

Waiting for a specialist opinion

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