Have Knee Pain?

Did you know that there are many options for managing and reducing your pain? Before you put up with discomfort and limited mobility any longer, take a moment to learn the facts about knee pain, and what you can do about it.

What is osteoarthritis?

One of the most common causes of chronic knee pain is arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis (OA). OA occurs when there is a breakdown in the cushioning cartilage between joints. When this cartilage wears down, bones begin to rub against each other, causing pain, swelling, stiffness and damage to other parts of the knee.

While the exact cause is unknown, there are several factors that may increase risk of developing OA:

Age: The strongest risk factor for OA is age5. Typically seen in patients over 45, it may also start in young adulthood often due to injury.3

Gender: Women are not only more likely to have OA than men, they may also have more severe OA.6

Joint Injury: Traumatic injury to a joint increases the risk of developing OA.7

Obesity: There is consistent evidence that obesity increases the risk of symptomatic hip OA.8

Joint Alignment: People with joints that are not aligned correctly, like bowlegs or dislocated hips, are more likely to develop OA in those joints.9


There is a lifetime risk developing symptomatic knee OA of around 40% for men and 47% in women. This risk increases to 60% in people with a BMI of 30 or higher.2


OA generally presents itself with pain that has developed gradually, with stiffness or swelling of the joint – mostly associated with activity. A doctor performs a physical examination that focuses on the patient’s walk, range of motion in the joint and swelling or tenderness. Cartilage loss can be generally confirmed with x-rays that show a loss of cartilage in the affected knee.

Nonsurgical treatment options

OA can be treated either non-surgically with drugs, or with a variety of surgical treatment options. Nonsurgical options generally begin with lifestyle modification – losing weight, switching from running to lower-impact exercises and minimizing activities that may aggravate the patient’s condition. Certain drugs are available for the treatment of OA, such as anti-inflammatory and pain management medications. Physical therapy can also help increase the range of motion and flexibility in affected joints, and supportive devices like braces, canes and specialized shoes can assist with pain and weight-bearing issues.10

Surgical treatment options

Total knee replacement with KneeAlign

When all non-invasive treatment has been exhausted and/or the damage is extensive, Total Knee Replacement (TKR) is one of the most successful of all surgical procedures, with a 90-95% success rate for pain relief.11 It involves replacing the bones of the knee with a combination of metal and plastic.

TKR performed with KneeAlign demonstrate several benefits over traditional total knee surgery, including:

  • Studies demonstrate patients experience less blood loss17
  • A more accurate and aligned knee implant15
  • Surgeon has 100% control of the KneeAlign technology throughout surgery, based on real-time data

Unlike robotic-assisted total knee replacements, KneeAlign-assisted total knee replacements offer these positive features for patients:

  • KneeAlign doesn’t require pre-operative CT-scan procedure, eliminating unnecessary exposure to radiation
  • KneeAlign doesn’t use bone screws to affix it’s technology, so patients don’t experience extra incisions during the surgery

Partial knee replacement with KneeAlign

If the damage is only confined to a particular component of the knee, you may be eligible for a Partial Knee Replacement (PKR). Patients with medial or lateral, knee OA can also be considered for PKR. A doctor will assess identify the location of the pain, the range of movement and your knee’s stability before confirming eligibility through an x-ray.

Partial knee replacement offers several potential benefits over total knee replacement for patients with the proper indications::

  • Less pain13
  • Quicker recovery and rehabilitation13
  • More normal feeling knee13
  • Smaller incisions14
  • Shorter hospital stay13

Unlike robotic-assisted partial knee replacements, UniAlign-assisted partial knee replacements offer these positive benefits for patients:

  • No pre-operative CT-scan or MRI-scan procedure required
  • No extra incisions for affixing bone screws to robotic tracking technology

How KneeAlign works

KneeAlign is a medical technology allowing surgeons to focus on the patient and tailor each procedure to your unique anatomy and kinematics (motion). KneeAlign uses the same kind of sensor technology that keeps satellites in orbit and planes in the air. Think of it as “GPS for surgery” that allows surgeons to make real-time decisions based on data that will make your surgery more successful.


1 Estimates of the prevalence of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the United States. Part II.

Lawrence RC, Felson DT, Helmick CG, Arnold LM, Choi H, Deyo RA, Gabriel S, Hirsch R, Hochberg MC, Hunder GG, Jordan JM, Katz JN, Kremers HM, Wolfe F, National Arthritis Data Workgroup. Arthritis Rheum. 2008 Jan; 58(1):26-35.

2 Lifetime risk of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.

Murphy L, Schwartz TA, Helmick CG, Renner JB, Tudor G, Koch G, Dragomir A, Kalsbeek WD, Luta G, Jordan JM Arthritis Rheum. 2008 Sep 15; 59(9):1207-13.

3 Nicholson S. et al. Reducing Premature Osteoarthritis in the Adolescent Through Appropriate Screening. (2009) Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 24, 69-74 (B)

4Prevalence of radiographic and symptomatic hip osteoarthritis in an urban United States community: the Framingham osteoarthritis study.

Kim C, Linsenmeyer KD, Vlad SC, Guermazi A, Clancy MM, Niu J, Felson DT

Arthritis Rheumatol. 2014 Nov; 66(11):3013-7.

5Estimates of the prevalence of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the United States. Part II.

Lawrence RC, Felson DT, Helmick CG, Arnold LM, Choi H, Deyo RA, Gabriel S, Hirsch R, Hochberg MC, Hunder GG, Jordan JM, Katz JN, Kremers HM, Wolfe F, National Arthritis Data Workgroup.

Arthritis Rheum. 2008 Jan; 58(1):26-35.

6A meta-analysis of sex differences prevalence, incidence and severity of osteoarthritis.

Srikanth VK, Fryer JL, Zhai G, Winzenberg TM, Hosmer D, Jones G

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2005 Sep; 13(9):769-81.

7High prevalence of knee osteoarthritis, pain, and functional limitations in female soccer players twelve years after anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Lohmander LS, Ostenberg A, Englund M, Roos H

Arthritis Rheum. 2004 Oct; 50(10):3145-52.

8Association of overweight, trauma and workload with coxarthrosis. A health survey of 7,217 persons.

Heliövaara M, Mäkelä M, Impivaara O, Knekt P, Aromaa A, Sievers K

Acta Orthop Scand. 1993 Oct; 64(5):513-8.

9The role of knee alignment in disease progression and functional decline in knee osteoarthritis.

Sharma L, Song J, Felson DT, Cahue S, Shamiyeh E, Dunlop DD

JAMA. 2001 Jul 11; 286(2):188-95.

10Recommendations for the medical management of osteoarthritis of the hip and knee: 2000 update. American College of Rheumatology Subcommittee on Osteoarthritis Guidelines.

Arthritis Rheum. 2000 Sep; 43(9):1905-15.

11American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons http://hipknee.aahks.net/surgical-options-for-knee-arthritis/

12 National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/hip-replacement-surgery

13 Hall et al., “Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty (Alias Uni-Knee): An Overview With Nursing Implications,” Orthopaedic Nursing, 2004; 23(3): 163-171.

14 Repicci, JA, et al., “Minimally invasive surgical technique for unicondylar knee arthroplasty,” J South Orthopedic Association, 1999 Spring; 8(1): 20-7.

15 Nam, et al, “Extramedullary Guides versus Portable, Accelerometer-Based Navigation for Tibial Alignment in Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Randomized Controlled Study”, The Journal of Arthroplasty, June 2013.

16 Nam, et al, “Accelerometer-Based, Portable Navigation vs Imageless, Large-Console Computer-Assisted Navigation in Total Knee Arthroplasty” The Journal of Arthroplasty, June 2012.

17 Ikawa, et al, “Usefulness of an accelerometer-based portable navigation system in total knee arthroplasty.” The Bone and Joint Journal, August 2017.

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