About Knee Osteoarthritis (OA)

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267
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What is Knee Osteoarthritis (OA)?

The knee is the largest joint in the body, and one of the most easily injured. It is made up of four main structures: bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. Three bones meet to form your knee joint: your thigh bone (femur), shinbone (tibia), and kneecap (patella). Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common orthopedic conditions. It is characterized by the wear and tear of knee cartilage with age. Knee bone becomes inflamed as cartilage loses its integrity and function. Painful bone spurs may develop. Joint space decreases.

Common Causes:

  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Prior traumatic injury
  • Smoking

Symptoms for Knee Osteoarthritis may include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Tenderness
  • Increased joint pain with rainy weather
  • Decreased range of motion

When you arrive for your initial consultation, Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) team of knee specialists will evaluate your areas of concern, discuss your symptoms, and develop a customized and comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. This evaluation is a necessary part of diagnosing your condition and providing the best possible care.

When diagnosing a knee osteoarthritis, the OPA specialist will provide:

  • A medical, injury, and symptom history review
  • A physical examination
  • Multiple view x-rays

Once an official diagnosis is made, a customized treatment plan is prescribed. Treatment plans decrease symptoms as quickly as possible.

Common Treatments:

Knee OA is a chronic condition. Treatment is focused on decreasing symptoms and preventing OA from becoming worse. OPA knee specialist treatment plan usually consist of a combination of the following:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)

Over-the-counter and prescription medications that decrease OA inflammation and pain.

Activity & Lifestyle Modification

Slowing down or stopping activities that cause symptoms, losing weight, smoking cessation, walking with a brace, walker, or cane.

Physical Therapy

Exercises increase knee strength, flexibility, and function. OPA approved physical therapists prescribe and monitor exercises.


Steroid and numbing medications quickly decrease OA inflammation and pain.

Surgical intervention may be recommended for knee OA that does not improve after nonsurgical treatment. A partial or total knee arthroplasty removes osteoarthritic cartilage and bone and replaces it with metal and plastic components. Symptoms and quality of life improve tremendously following recovery and physical therapy.

At OPA, our Board-Certified and Fellowship Trained Knee Specialists are experts in diagnosing and treating knee osteoarthritis.

If you are experiencing pain in your knee, contact our office to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists that are conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla.

Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267

OPA Knee Team

(click a provider to view profile)

Deryk Anderson, DO

Orthopedic Specialist

Tucker Drury, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Adam Ellison, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Robert Hall, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Christopher Manion, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Jeff Moore, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Eli Powell, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Michael Reyes, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Greg Schweiger, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.


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