The word 'arthritis' literally means 'inflammation of the joint', but in reality it includes any destructive process involving the cartilagenous joint lining (the 'gristle') at the end of the bones.

There are many causes and types of arthritis, but the one which is most common and also most commonly associated with knees is 'osteoarthritis'

Doctors tend to take different approaches in the management of osteoarthritis depending on their particular line of interest - a general practitioner may tend to look at general factors such as weight and diet, a rheumatologist may prescribe anti-inflammatories, including steroids, and knee surgeons tend to take a mechanical approach and try and sort out any structural problems.

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