Osteoarthritis of the knee: symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Knee osteoarthritis - a disease that destroys the structural elements of the anatomy of the lower limb. Over time, this disease can lead to disability. Effective aid is only possible when the understanding of the causes of pathology, peculiarities of its course, characteristic differences of the disease at different stages. Treatment consists of medicines and use folk remedies.

osteoarthritis of the knee

Key features of the disease

Osteoarthritis is the destruction of cartilage and deformation of articular structures. This process of degeneration, which is chronic. Pathology brings considerable discomfort, pain and dysfunction of limbs. If the treatment is delayed - there is a risk of complete immobilization of the limb.

The disease is more common in women, typical of the age of 40 years. The disease can be bilateral in nature or affect only one leg. Among the risk factors - various loads, disease. Knee osteoarthritis is accompanied by softening of the cartilage, its delamination. If it is destroyed and can not perform its function, the bone is exposed, disrupted her diet and metabolism, and also reduces the cushioning function.

Osteoarthritis of the knee has a fairly high frequency. According to some, he is found in every fifth adult patient.

What causes osteoarthritis of the knee?

Knee osteoarthritis is not the only causes. Most often, this is facilitated by the combined effects of risk factors.

These include the following:

  • injury and damage to the knees

It could be a fracture, dislocation or injury. Such reasons cause disease of the knee joint in young patients. Post-traumatic arthrosis occurs due to the violation of motions in some axes of the joint. Pathological changes also contributes to immobilization of the limb, which impedes blood flow to the structures of the limb.

  • Damage to the menisci

This injury rendered separately, since in most cases leads to osteoarthritis and requires special attention from the patient and the attending physician. Pathology may occur when rupture of these tissues, or after removing them.

  • Excessive load knees

Osteoarthritis - a common companion of high physical stress, intense workouts and exercises. This is especially true for those who decided to rapidly bring yourself into shape and doing so without consulting a doctor. Sometimes, joints can not withstand loads and begin to deform. So begins the first stage of the disease.

Especially dangerous for the knee are exercises Jogging and squats. If the person is not counting the load is engaged without proper shoes and on the wrong surface - movable part of the joint wears, becomes thin. These small injuries are not accompanied by appreciable symptoms. but accumulate and worsen the condition of the body. Choosing the program for exercise, you must consider the age and condition of the tissues. And best of all - to turn to a professional, otherwise training will only bring harm.

  • Increased body mass

Another factor of trauma - excess weight. The constant stress on the knee causes the menisci trauma even without injury and shock. Such damage is hard to be reversed and almost always lead to disease. Often, obesity in humans has been observed varicose veins. The combination of these States leads to gravetur course of the disease.

  • Chronic disease of joint tissue

Osteoarthritis of the knee may develop on the background of existing pathology. For example, arthritis is often a complication of arthritis. He can accompany rheumatoid, reactive, psoriatic disease. Cartilage destruction, in this case, occurs on the background of accumulation of fluid and edema of the articular structures.

  • The pathology of metabolism

We are talking about the lack of vitamins, minerals and other elements. The problem may be that insufficient consumption of these substances or in the pathology of the stomach or intestines. If the patient has disease of the small intestine - nutrients pass through the body “in transit” and tissues do not receive the items, which leads to their gradual destruction. There may also be increased consumption of nutrients, which requires increased intake from outside.

  • Regular stress

If the patient is constantly experiencing excitement experiencing and exposed to stress, it negatively affects all processes in the body. Suffering blood circulation and metabolism.

As you can see, the causes of disease are many and they all directly or indirectly affect the tissue. For pathology, you need prolonged exposure. The disease begins gradually and in the early stages does not have clinical signs. The patient does not notice changes and take measures to eliminate them. This leads to the development of the disease and its further stages.

the symptoms of osteoarthritis


Pathology symptoms depend on the stage of osteoarthritis of the knee. The knee joint may be a long time to compensate for the destruction, but, gradually, yet there are manifestations that compel the patient to consult a doctor and are the basis for diagnosis.

The first symptom is pain and discomfort. In the beginning, they appear very weak and practically does not disturb the patient. In addition, the pain appears very rarely, after considerable stress and disappear after a rest. Patients confuse the clinical symptoms of the disease with the usual fatigue and not give them value. Gradually, the pain becomes more intense and occurs more often.

It may be accompanied by running, walking and other loads, and eventually becomes permanent. the time intervals required for the termination of pain are getting longer. The patient refuses long walks, stops to lift weights and limits their daily mobility. so as not to face this pain.

Deformation of the knee structures can accompany the disease at different stages. First is minor swelling. Over time it increases and becomes visible to others.

Inflammation of periarticular structures is a frequent feature of osteoarthritis. Permanent deformation of the joint causes some inflammatory processes. In the joint cavity accumulates fluid, it constricts the nerve endings and vascular bundles. Sometimes, the inflammation of the joint capsule leads to the appearance of Baker's cyst. This complication, which is accompanied by knee osteoarthritis and is treated only with surgery.

The crunch in the tissues of the joints - a symptom of later stages of osteoarthritis. It's a sharp sound that occurs simultaneously with the pain and different from physiological crunch when strong flexion of the knee.

The dysfunction of the joint - the result of the clinical picture of knee osteoarthritis. The patient is not able to produce tendentes and extensor movements due to the occurrence of severe pain in the joints. In combination with deformation and pain, this symptom says about the final stage of the disease. Gradually, the movements become more limited and, in the end, the patient completely loses the ability to move.

Classification of osteoarthritis of the knee

First of all, there are several types of osteoarthritis of the knee, depending on the reasons that caused it. The disease can be primary and secondary.

Primary osteoarthritis affects the knee, which was not previously involvit in the pathological process. It happens gradually, on a background of underlying pathology or certain processes in the body. But the secondary gonarthrosis - a condition that continues over a natural articular pathology or injury.

Regarding localization, arthrosis can be unilateral or bilateral. If the pathology affects one knee - the most likely cause is injury. Background pathology involves the process of both limbs. However, it should be noted that even bilateral osteoarthritis can occur unevenly. Sometimes, on the one hand there is an early stage of the disease, and on the other more severe.

Depending on the anatomy of osteoarthritis, there are the following types:

signs of osteoarthritis
  • lateral, localized on the external side of the knee joint;
  • medial is on the inside;
  • lose the bottom joint (the head of the tibia);
  • the destruction of the upper area (condyle of the femur;
  • disease of the patella;
  • involvement in disease of all structures of the knee.

The stage of the disease are divided into early, broad and late:

  1. Stage 1 is also called elementary. It is accompanied by moderate symptoms. At this stage only begins with the destruction of the cartilage structure. Gradually changing its characteristics however, the compensation mechanisms is still required. At this stage, the person feels mild discomfort, intermittent pain. There is also stiffness, especially at the beginning of the walk.
  2. Stage 2 is accompanied by severe symptoms. Progressive degeneration of the cartilage and begins the destruction of bone, synovium, and other joint structures. Included a compensation mechanism that substitutes the functional activity of the joint. The pain is severe and intense. There is a change in muscle tissue, restriction of mobility. characteristic crunch. Sometimes there are inflammatory changes in the knee becomes warm to the touch. the skin over it is red, there is swelling.
  3. Stage 3 manifested severe symptoms. The bone irreversibly deforms and compensation mechanisms are no longer able to compensate for functional activity of the structure. there comes a stage of decompensation.

Each stage has its typical radiological signs. This is important for diagnosis and treatment. In the picture you can see the narrowing of the gap between the articular surfaces, the growth of osteophytes and bone density depletion. Depending on the stage. varies the degree of manifestation of these signs.

treatment of osteoarthritis

Modern methods of treatment of knee osteoarthritis

Treatment of arthritis consists of conservative therapy, surgical interventions, non-pharmacological treatment. The choice of method depends on the stage of disease, underlying diseases, patient's age and the nature of the disease.

Medicinal drugs used in this disease, are divided into the following groups:

  • Analgesics.

Used to eliminate pain syndrome. Are symptomatic therapy. These include analgin, paracetamol.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Chondroprotectors

Used to improve the structure and function of cartilage. There are tablets and solutions for injection.

  • Narcotic analgesics

Apply when expressed pain syndrome. Medication - tramadol. Takes a sharp intense pain and improves the condition of the patient.

  • Additional medications

They are used to improve the condition of the patient and have a symptomatic effect. This ointment is used on the basis of diclofenac, triamcinolone, betamethasone acetate.

Non-drug treatments

The medication has no meaning without a correct way of life. For patients with knee osteoarthritis is extremely important to include such factors:

exercise therapeutic
  • physiotherapy;
  • modification of body weight;
  • the use of special devices. which reduce the load on the joint;
  • limit stress;
  • massage and self-massage;
  • physiotherapy.

Treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee joint is a long process, which should include different methods of influence. This is also secondary prevention, which eliminates complications and improves the patient's quality of life.

Traditional medicine

To facilitate the patient's condition shall apply such funds from medicinal plants and other substances:

  • to prepare confricantes need to collect potato sprouts. which appear on potatoes in the spring. Collected sprouts must be washed and cleaned of dirt. Put them in a clean container and pour vodka so that it covers the sprouts. Three weeks solution is infused, after which it must drain. Received tincture RUB the knee when pain attack.
  • Take one head of garlic 200 ml vegetable oil. Chopped garlic steep in the oil for weeks. Apply to skin and leave overnight.
  • Another confricantes, which is effective for painful sensations, consists of ground mustard, camphor, egg whites and vodka. All components mix and use for rubbing 2 times a day. The rate of application is 2 weeks.
  • Mix cosmetic clay (blue) with yogurt until a homogeneous creamy mass. Heat the mixture and use it to wrap for the night. helps to relieve pain.

Please note that the components for the recipes used should be environmentally friendly, with proper sanitary and hygienic norms. Use a clean container for storage, do not leave the finished mixture on a light or warm and also protect from children.