Sometimes a "trick knee" is from a meniscal tear. Some tears are part of the arthritic process and some cause mechanical problems. Depending on your other symptoms and the factors above, knee arthroscopy
can help remove the loose parts and make your knee feel more stable.
Other times, the "trick knee" is an acl tear
. In an arthritic knee, reconstructing the acl can put more pressure on the joint surfaces and increase the wear on the cartilage
. Another possibility is that you are withdrawing from the pain and therefore reluctant to put weight on the knee.
, therapy, quadriceps training, anti-inflammatories, and injections can be used to manage symptoms. When non-operative treatment fails, you might consider joint replacement. Those function best in older patients with lower bmi's and lower activity levels. Think of it as putting tires on a car. The fewer miles you put on per year, the longer they will last.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis
or another type of inflammatory arthropathy, then your rheumatologist can work to improve control of the disease. This may not help the right knee, but could prevent damage in the other knee.
A good, thorough evaluation by an orthopaedic surgeon can help you explore your options.