Degenerative conditions of the knee

What degenerative conditions can affect the knee?

Arthritis of the knee is one of the most common causes of knee pain. There are several types of shoulder arthritis. These include:

  • Osteoarthritis
    Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis, causes the cartilage that surrounds the bone to wear away, decreasing the protective space between the bones. This causes stiffness, swelling and pain, and is most common in people over the age of 50.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
    Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that affects joints in various parts of the body including the hands, wrists, knees and shoulders. The disease causes the lining of the joints to swell, causing pain and stiffness.
  • Post-traumatic arthritis
    Post-traumatic arthritis occurs after an injury, such as a dislocation or fracture.

What are the symptoms of knee arthritis?

Symptoms of knee arthritis include:

  • Knee pain
  • Knee stiffness
  • Deformity

How is knee arthritis diagnosed?

If you are experiencing knee pain, your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination and may choose to use x-rays to confirm the diagnoses and rule out any other potential conditions.

What are the treatment options?

Some non-surgical treatment options include:

  • Special exercises to strengthen the muscles
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Cortisone injections
  • Physiotherapy

If your knee pain is not resolved, your doctor may recommend knee surgery. Surgery options include:

  • Arthroscopy
    Certain types of arthritis can be treated with arthroscopy, during which your orthopedic surgeon will clean out the inside of your joint. This procedure will provide pain relief. Dr Pirjol conducts arthroscopic debridement and partial meniscectomies in the early stages of arthritis.
  • Total knee replacement
    In severe cases, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend a total knee replacement. . Also known as arthroplasty, the knee replacement procedure involves replacing damaged cartilage and bone with prosthetic components. Prosthetic components used in knee replacement are made from a range of materials including metal, ceramic, and plastic. New technological advances in surgery mean that the procedure has long-term results.

Dr Pirjol works with patients to exhaust all non-operative treatments available for degenerative diseases before recommending surgery.


Dr Gabriel Pirjol is based at St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban and also consults and operates from Gateway Hospital in Umhlanga, Westville Hospital and Malvern Medicross.


Telephone : +27 31 202 5463

Email :

Address : Suite 24 Chelmsford Medical Centre
St Augustine's Hospital
107 J B Marks Road
Berea, 4001