Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can affect your knees and any other joint in your body.
It’s an immune system disorder in which the body attacks itself, and especially the joints. Doctors don’t know exactly what causes it.
What Are the Symptoms of Knee RA?
You may feel:
You may also experience fatigue.
- Anemia (low red blood cell count)
- Rheumatoid factor (RF), found in about 70% to 80% of people with RA
- “Sed” rate (erythrocyte sedimentation rate). High levels are a sign of inflammation.
- Antibodies to a chemical called CCP
- High levels of CRP (C-reactive protein)
There are different kinds of RA medications. Some ease pain. Others curb inflammation or stop the disease from getting worse.
You may need to take more than one -- for instance, a pain medication and another to stop the disease’s progress. It’s best to start early, to help protect your joints.
Will I Need Knee Surgery?
Your doctor will recommend other treatments first. Knee replacement surgery is usually a last resort when damage to the knee is severe and irreperable.
Some people get surgery to remove the inflamed joint lining. Your doctor may call that lining the “synovium” and the procedure a “synovectomy.” The operation, which is performed less frequently than in the past because of better medications, can relieve knee pain for up to 5 years.