The surfaces of the bones that form the joint are covered with a special, hyaline cartilage - smooth, providing the least frictional force for the motility of the articular surfaces. If arthrosis is diagnosed, it means that the cartilage is in the process of destruction.

norm and deviations in arthrosis of the knee joint

As it progresses, the destructive process spreads to the bones, and then to the joint capsule.

According to medical statistics, osteoarthritis affects 12% of the world's population, most of whom are elderly people over 65 years old. However, every year there is an alarming trend towards an increase in the number of cases among young people.

The diagnosis is not fatal, but arthrosis is insidious with its relapses and the threat of complete disability.

Mechanism of origin

The disease develops gradually, four stages can be conditionally distinguished:

  1. Initially, an area of poor blood supply or damage appears on the cartilage site. Gradually, in the presence of traumatic factors, the area does not recover, but, on the contrary, grows.
  2. The body, trying to restore decaying cartilage, replaces damaged areas with mineralized tissue that does not have a clear structure. Such tissue is, in general, an inferior substitute for smooth, sliding and elastic hyaline cartilage.
  3. Gradually, the entire surface of the cartilage becomes covered with scars and bone growths - osteophytes.
  4. Healthy areas wear out very quickly from the several times increased load, and as a result, the entire cartilage tissue turns into one large scar.

If the pathological process is not stopped, the joint will undergo the following adverse changes:

  • bones are involved in the destruction process;
  • synovium becomes inflamed;
  • the joint capsule becomes denser, losing its elasticity;
  • the lumen of the joint space decreases rapidly;
  • bones, not withstanding friction, are deformed, like the joint as a whole;
  • the joint tissues are reborn, thus there is a complete loss of the ability to move.

Types of arthrosis

This disease affects absolutely any articular surfaces! Moreover, despite the same pathology mechanism, it is classified into several types.

So, depending on which joints are sick, there are:

  • arthrosis of the knee joint, or patellofemoral arthrosis (abbreviated as gonarthrosis);
  • arthrosis of the hip joint (abbreviated as coxarthrosis);
  • arthrosis of the shoulder joint;
  • interphalangeal arthrosis;
  • ankle arthrosis;
  • arthrosis of the hands;
  • cervical arthrosis;
  • jaw arthrosis;
  • arthrosis of the metatarsophalangeal joint;
  • arthrosis of the ilium;
  • clavicular-acromial arthrosis;
  • temporal arthrosis;
  • heel arthrosis;
  • facet arthrosis affecting the arcuate processes of the vertebrae (abbreviated spondyloarthrosis);
  • arthrosis of the facet articulation of the joints of the spine;
  • uncovertebral arthrosis;
  • costal-vertebral arthrosis;
  • talonavicular arthrosis.

According to the specifics of the pathological process in the cartilaginous tissue, there are:

  • deforming arthrosis is the name of the disease that has passed into the terminal (final) stage;
  • arthrosoarthritis, the presence of a classic inflammatory process is characteristic;
  • chronic;
  • acute arthrosis.

For reasons of pathology, there are:

  • dystrophic arthrosis of the joints associated with a critical metabolic disorder;
  • arthrosis of the fracture caused by related trauma;
  • post-traumatic arthrosis.

Important to know!There are no arthrosis of internal organs, for example, arthrosis of the heart is not a type of disease, but a consequence: a violation of cardiac activity due to the destruction of the cartilage of the thoracic region.

There is another classification, according to whether the disease is independent or caused by provoking factors:

  • primary, - occurs on perfectly healthy cartilage, another name, - idiopathic arthrosis, or appears with age-related senile changes;
  • secondary, - caused by many reasons.

Arthrosis Symptoms

There are quite typical signs of arthrosis of all localizations, which, depending on the degree of development of the pathology, differ in their severity:

  • aches, pain syndrome, aggravated by high humidity and hypothermia;
  • decreased joint mobility;
  • crunchy, creaking and scraping sounds during movements of the articular surfaces;
  • external changes in the outlines of the joint;
  • puffiness and swelling;
  • redness of the skin.


The most initial signs of impairment are mild to moderate, short-term pain that almost never occurs at night, but usually appears only with stress on the articular surface.

When the inflammatory processes have passed into their final stage, the patient begins to feel unbearable, "gnawing" pains due to blood stagnation and increased pressure in the joint capsule. The pains are characterized by a long duration, at any time of the day, and regardless of whether the affected area is at rest or in motion.

Joint stiffness

This symptom is typical for a fairly advanced disease. At the same time, in the early stages, the patient still feels in the morning hours, after waking up, discomfort when moving in the form of a feeling of some stiffness.

With the progression of destructive reactions, the patient notices:

  • limiting the amplitude of habitual movements;
  • inability to change the position of the limbs at rest, even when attempting to manually extend the joint;
  • firm fixation (contracture) in a certain position of the joint, which has been in a state of inactivity for a long time.

Finally, at the fourth stage of pathology, ankylosis is formed in the form of replacement of joint tissues with scars, with a complete loss of functionality.

Joint sounds

Crunch can be accompanied by any dysfunction of bones and cartilage, not only caused by arthrosis.

However, this disease is characterized by the sound:

  • occurs only in the joint that aches;
  • is accompanied by difficulty in movement;
  • tends to increase with the progression of pathology, and it gets into the formation of ankylosis.

Change the appearance of the joint

Noticeable changes appear in the later stages. So, the axis of the affected limb is bent, and the articular region itself is disfigured - it grows in size, the shape changes ugly.

All this testifies to the irreversible destruction of the joint, inside which a new tissue without a definite structure has formed.

If such a disease-causing process occurs in the knee, it means that the load on the ankle and metatarsophalangeal joints will increase, which will eventually damage them.

If the outwardly deformed part of the body is also swollen, or swollen, it means inflammation of the synovial membrane, due to which synovial fluid accumulates in large quantities in the joint capsule, causing severe pain.

Causes of arthrosis

Pathology can occur both in a single joint and spread to several. This disease is least common at a young age - there is still enough vitality for self-healing of the body.

the normal state of the joint and the causes of the development of arthrosis of the knee

Nevertheless, for all age groups, the causes of occurrence in their direction of exposure are:

  • internal, - some diseases, bad habits, unbalanced diet and the like;
  • external, - trauma, professional factor.

Internal causes are factors provoking a negative change in the joint in the form of joint inflammation. Distinguish between inflammations of various origins:

  • infectious (Escherichia coli and Koch's bacillus, viruses, chlamydia, staphylococcus, Treponema pale and the like);
  • rheumatism;
  • purulent arthritis;
  • autoimmune nature;
  • gout;
  • psoriasis.

In addition, the causes of internal exposure include congenital or acquired abnormalities in the structure of cartilage tissue and malnutrition, which may be associated with:

  • genetic failures and mutations;
  • anomalies of intrauterine development, including perinatal trauma;
  • old age;
  • osteoporosis, - that is, "washing out" of the constituent elements from the bone tissue;
  • hormonal disorders and overload, including menopause;
  • disorders of normal metabolism;
  • lack of vitamins and microelements in nutrition;
  • diseases involving muscle weakness;
  • internal long-term intoxication.

Exacerbation of many diseases of the musculoskeletal skeleton also leads to cartilage degeneration.

External causes of the development of the disease are such factors damaging the joint as:

  • frequent hypothermia;
  • dislocations;
  • strong blows;
  • fractures;
  • meniscus injuries;
  • strong physical activity (lifting weights, for example);
  • professional sports;
  • joint surgery.

Arthrosis degree

According to the clinical manifestations and the process of disease progression, four stages of arthrosis are distinguished:

  1. arthrosis of the 1st degree,this is the initial stage of arthrosis, which is characterized by latent symptoms in the form of negative changes in the composition of synovial fluid and weakening of muscle fibers, if pain appears, it is only during physical exertion;
  2. arthrosis of the 2nd degree,- this is already a feeling of pain due to the collapsing articulation of bones and the formation of osteophytes, reflex neurotrophic regulation is disturbed and an audible crunch appears;
  3. grade 3 arthrosisis characterized by significant degenerative changes in the joint, its visible deformation with curvature of the limb axis, the ligaments are shortened, and the joint becomes pathologically mobile;
  4. grade 4 arthrosisis complete ankylosis, complete contracture and severe pain even at rest.

All four stages are uneven: during the pathological period, sharp exacerbations and moments of remission are possible.

Arthrosis Treatment

It has been clinically proven that treatment and prevention in the form of elimination of the provoking factors of hyaline cartilage lesions, although they do not eliminate the disease at the initial stage, stop its development and restore the functionality of the joint.

Basically, the disease of small and moderate severity is treated with conservative methods. In the case of serious destruction of the cartilaginous surface, resulting in the destruction of bones, surgical arthroplasty is indicated.

In this case, the main principle in the treatment are:

  • an integrated approach involving the use of several therapeutic methods;
  • purposefulness, that is, concentration of efforts on eliminating the factors and consequences provoking the disease.

Treatment with folk remedies

While treating comprehensively, but at home, you can additionally resort to healing recipes of traditional healers who offer effective treatment of health problems through herbs and bee products.

Plants use:

  • bay leaf in the form of decoctions, tinctures on vodka and specially prepared oil, used externally, directly on the area of inflammation;
  • arthrosis treatment with honey has established itself as a reliable local drug, in the form of rubbing, relieves inflammation and nourishes the skin, muscles and cartilage;
  • cabbage leaf, - better than white cabbage, - knead it a little, and wrap a sore spot with it, warm it on top with a woolen cloth, and keep it all night;
  • aloe juice in the form of compresses and rubbing into the skin;

Treatment of arthrosis of the knee joint with burdock also helps: the leaf is bandaged to the sore spot, which is insulated for the whole night.

Important to know!Using herbal medicine, it is necessary, to enhance the effect, to forget bad habits and take care of proper nutrition.

Preparations for arthrosis

Medical treatment related to the classical method of therapy is subdivided, depending on the dosage form used, into drugs:

  • external use, in the form of an ointment for arthrosis, rubbing, lotions;
  • injections;
  • pills for arthrosis;
  • capsules.


The pharmaceutical industry produces medical ointments based on natural, highly active ingredients. Gel products that are applied to the skin help well.


Injections, not only intravenously and intramuscularly, but also directly into the affected area, for example, with non-steroidal drugs, have proven themselves very well in the treatment.

So, intra-articular injections are injected into damaged articular tissues:

  • glucocorticoids, which enhance the nutrition of cartilage tissue, relieve inflammation and increase elasticity;
  • chondroprotectors and analogs of intra-articular fluid;
  • hyaluronic acid as a lubricant and pain reliever.

Preparations in the form of tablets and capsules

A special group in drug therapy is the so-called chondroprotectors for arthrosis, containing the structural elements of hyaline cartilage, and thereby restoring it.

These drugs are available in the form of tablets and capsules for oral administration through the gastrointestinal tract (by mouth).

Additionally, patients are prescribed NSAIDs, anti-inflammatory drugs for arthrosis of the non-steroidal group, which relieve acute pain and relieve exacerbations.

Pain relievers are also used as a blockade.

In addition, complex vitamins are prescribed for arthrosis.

Medical bile, applied in the form of compresses to the skin, is recommended from natural topical preparations.

Exercises for arthrosis

Special exercises and remedial gymnastics (LFK) proved to be excellent, the complex of which gives physical activity to the unhealthy part of the body sparingly, dosed.

Well-known doctors have developed their own therapeutic exercises.

Important to know!Exercise is very effective in helping to restore health, but only if you resort to it at the very beginning of the development of the disease!

Massage for arthrosis

Medical massage, which improves microcirculation and nutrition of deep tissues, has a very beneficial effect on treatment.

Diet for arthrosis

In such a condition, it is important to adhere to a correct, balanced diet in order to slightly improve the patient's condition. Abstaining from overeating, excluding animal fats and fried foods is recommended.

Important to know!In addition, in the fight for healthy cartilage, it is necessary to use physiotherapy in the form of magnetic therapy, electrophoresis, paraffin wrapping and therapeutic mud.

Which doctor treats arthrosis

First of all, with complaints of pain in the joints of the bones, you should go to a therapist. It is he who, summarizing the patient's anamnesis, and questioning him in detail, will give a referral to the necessary narrow specialist.

This can be, depending on the cause of the disease and its type, doctors such as:

  • orthopedist;
  • traumatologist;
  • surgeon;
  • rheumatologist.