Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating disorder prevalent in older populations that is accompanied by declines in muscle mass, strength, and physical activity. In skeletal muscle, the Na(+)-K(+) pump (NKA) is pivotal in ion homeostasis and excitability and is modulated by disuse and exercise training. This study examined the effects of OA and aging on muscle NKA in 36 older adults (range 55-81 yr), including 19 with OA (69.9 ± 6.5 yr, mean ± SD) and 17 asymptomatic controls (CON, 66.8 ± 6.4 yr). Participants completed knee extensor strength testing and a physical activity questionnaire. A vastus lateralis muscle biopsy was analyzed for NKA content ([(3)H]ouabain binding sites), α1-3- and β1-3-isoform protein abundance (immunoblotting), and mRNA (real-time RT-PCR). The association between age and NKA content was investigated within the OA and CON groups and in pooled data. The NKA content was also contrasted between subgroups below and above the median age of 68.5 yr. OA had lower strength (-40.8%, P = 0.005), but higher NKA α2- (∼34%, P = 0.006) and α3-protein (100%, P = 0.016) abundance than CON and performed more incidental physical activity (P = 0.035). No differences were found between groups for NKA content, abundance of other NKA isoforms, or gene expression. There was a negative correlation between age and NKA content within OA (r = -0.63, P = 0.03) and with both groups combined (r = -0.47, P = 0.038). The NKA content was 25.5% lower in the older (69-81 yr) than in the younger (55-68 yr) subgroup. Hence older age, but not knee OA, was related to lowered muscle NKA content in older adults.