Osteoarthritis of the knee (gonarthrosis)

Osteoarthritis of the knee joint (otherwise called gonarthrosis) is a fairly common disease that has recently been found not only in the elderly but also in the young.

knee osteoarthritis

Pathology is one of the main reasons for patients' disability if they refuse to seek help from a traumatologist or orthopedist.

Let's examine why patients develop gonarthrosis of the knee joint, what are its main signs, how dangerous it is, and how effective the treatment of progressive knee destruction is.

The main factors in the occurrence of this pathology

The joints are constantly exposed to considerable stress. The knees are especially affected: they are forced to perform considerable physical work, therefore they get tired quickly. The deformation process is intensified by the fact that the legs are forced to support the weight of the body.

This fact further contributes to the fact that the knees begin to wear out, and the cartilage tissue of the ankle becomes thinner and degrades.

healthy cartilage and osteoarthritis of the knee

The following reasons may accelerate the pathological process in the joints:

  1. Increased body weight of patients. In complete joint destruction occurs much faster and more intensely. It has been proven that the disease in question occurs three times more often in obese people than in people of normal weight.
  2. Intense sports, due to which the joints are constantly injured.
  3. Frequent fractures, previous knee injuries contribute to the fact that the patient begins to degenerate articular cartilage processes at a fairly young age.
  4. Abnormalities in the location of the bones - the so-called valgus deformity or varus.
  5. Poor development of the ligament apparatus of the knee leads to frequent injuries, dislocations. Due to the described injuries, the patient develops osteoarthritis.
  6. Meniscus damage causes the degenerative process of knee destruction.
  7. Constant stress leads to a deterioration of the health of the musculoskeletal system.
  8. Disruption of metabolic processes in the body due to lack of nutrients and minerals (bones suffer more from lack of calcium).

In addition, the following people belong to the risk group:

inflammation of the knee joint with osteoarthritis
  • all athletes;
  • patients, regardless of gender, who have reached the age of 50;
  • women who have started menopause;
  • patients suffering from varicose veins;
  • persons with unfavorable inheritance.

What are the degrees of the disease

The pathology in question develops gradually, very slowly. At first, it may not show up, and the patient is in no hurry to see a doctor. However, the pathological process has already begun and if it is not stopped in time, the functions of the lower extremities will be gradually lost, which leads to the onset of disability.

So in grade 1, the patient may notice that the foot gets tired, even if the load was small. A restriction of the mobility of the knee joint is noticeable and a considerable crackling is heard during the movement.

There is pronounced initial pain when the discomfort does not give rest mainly in the morning. Once the patient is "dispersed", the discomfort gradually decreases, increasing again after sports activities. At this stage of disease development, there is no pronounced deformation of bone tissue.

In grade 2, the pain gets worse. Because of this, walking is impaired. Sometimes it becomes almost impossible for the patient to move normally, even after a light load, a long rest is required. As the joint cavity narrows, osteophytes grow in the bones and pathological fluid accumulates in the joints.

In grade 3, pain occurs not only during work, sports, but also in a state of complete rest. The knee deformity is very pronounced, which makes any movement difficult.

Common symptoms of the disease

It is necessary to pay attention to the general symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee joint:

  1. Pain. It does not appear suddenly, however, the slight discomfort can last for almost years. The strongest pain is caused by trauma.
  2. Knee deformity (it retains its previous shape).
  3. Accumulation of fluid in the intra-articular cavity. When its amount exceeds certain values, the so-called Baker cyst develops. A narrow elastic object appears at the back of the knee. It is most noticeable when the node is elongated.
  4. Knee jump is observed if the pathology is in the second, third stage. It differs significantly from what is observed in a healthy person when bending or lengthening the knee. The sound feels both harsh and painful. Sometimes crackling interferes with active movements.
  5. Reduction of normal range of motion in joints. Usually the patient can not bend, untie the affected leg. He is able to bend it at a right angle, further movements are accompanied by severe pain.
  6. Knee stiffness occurs mainly in stages 3. Sometimes patients are able to walk only on bent limbs.
  7. Increased pain when the weather changes.
  8. Significant thinning of the cartilage. Sometimes, in advanced cases, bone exposure is observed. Knee radiograph shows considerable accumulation of osteophytes.

Varieties of osteoarthritis

Depending on the origin, osteoarthritis is primary (produces as an independent disease) or secondary - a complication of existing pathologies. Depending on the site of localization, the pathology is right, left, and bilateral.

stages of osteoarthritis of the knee joint

Based on the characteristics of the manifestation, the following types of disease are distinguished.

  1. Deformative arthrosis is characterized by a chronic course, irreversible changes in the joints.
  2. Patellofemoral arthrosis develops due to prolonged intense physical exertion.
  3. Inflammatory arthrosis occurs due to an prolonged untreated inflammatory process in the joints.
  4. Dysplastic arthrosis develops due to congenital abnormalities in the structure of the knee joint.
  5. Post-traumatic osteoarthritis occurs as a result of frequent damage to the musculoskeletal system.
  6. Metabolic osteoarthritis presents with gout and other metabolic disorders.
  7. Postinfectious osteoarthritis occurs as a consequence of insufficiently treated inflammatory pathologies.
  8. The static form of the disease is detected when the knees are constantly exposed to increased pressure.
  9. If the cause of the knee lesion is not determined, experts talk about idiopathic osteoarthritis.

Characteristics of disease treatment

the doctor examines the knee for osteoarthritis

In the initial stages of disease development, a rheumatologist and traumatologist are involved in the treatment. If it has gone too far, the patient should consult a surgeon. Finally, in some clinics there is a close specialist who deals with joint diseases - an arthrologist.

The extent of therapeutic measures depends on how far the disease has progressed. If it is possible to eliminate the cause of the pathology in question in the early stages, then an almost permanent cure can be achieved.

The goals of any therapy are complete elimination of pain, restoration of destroyed cartilage and increase of the range of active movements in the joints.

The course of drug treatment is chosen exclusively by a physician. The patient can not prescribe them themselves, as this may contribute to further destruction of the wrist. The main medicines are prescribed:

medications for knee osteoarthritis
  1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory tablets or ointments. Their action is aimed at relieving pain, inflammation in the affected area. Injections into the articular cavity can sometimes be prescribed.
  2. Products that improve blood circulation in the knee. These are muscle relaxants, antispasmodics. The latter relieve pain well.
  3. Products that restore articular cartilage, improve normal nutrition in it.

Novocaine blockade helps relieve acute pain. The injection can be given from outside or inside the wrist. The simplest and safest method is to administer the medicine externally. With proper manipulation, the pain goes away almost immediately.

A powerful NSAID-based ointment also helps to cope with pain. It should be remembered that you should not use strong medicines for a long time. Any medication, even the most effective, can have side effects and cause allergic reactions. This means that self-medication for this serious illness is not categorically allowed.

Conservative treatment can be effective, provided the disease has not gone too far. In case of irreversible joint damage, a surgical operation is indicated. A metal prosthesis is implanted.

Knee replacement for osteoarthritis

This is currently the only way to restore knee mobility. The disadvantages of these surgeries are the limited service life of the prosthesis, the high price.

In arthroscopy all surgical procedures are performed by performing microscopic punctures in the wrist. During the operation, fragments of the affected cartilage, clots, etc. are removed from the joint. In stage 3 disease, the prescribed type of intervention is ineffective.

To reduce the load, periarticular osteotomy is used. It is shown to be done when the node has not yet been completely destroyed.

Reeds and orthoses are used to discharge the joint affected by the degenerative process.

The duration of treatment of the disease depends on many factors. The course of chondroprotective therapy can be quite long - six months or even longer, as their effect manifests itself quite slowly. A qualified healthcare professional can determine how long you will take your prescribed medication.

Use of chondroprotectors in the treatment of osteoarthritis

To relieve pain, doctors prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

However, even the new generation NSAIDs can not prevent the spread of the pathological process. To reduce the intensity of joint degeneration and restore its normal mobility, chondroprotectors are increasingly used.

Modern medicines in this group help to restore joint tissue. This is due to the chondroitin content in them. It is a natural component of cartilage. Continuous taking of drugs of this group helps to restore it, improve health.

Despite the wide range of medications offered, only a doctor can determine which one is right for a patient. The injection of chondroprotectors is not shown to everyone, the drugs themselves are diluted in special solvents.

Taking dietary supplements is indicated if the patient follows the rules of a balanced diet, takes other medications to support the joints.

The role of exercise therapy and physiotherapy in the treatment of gonarthrosis

With the described pathology, the patient is categorically contraindicated in a sedentary lifestyle. Physical activity for any disease of the musculoskeletal system is simply necessary for all categories of patients. Of course, it must be dosed; each exercise is performed exclusively under the supervision of a physician.

Knee massage for osteoarthritis

For each patient, a traumatologist or a rehabilitation therapist individually selects specific exercises. There is no need to think that the different classes of classes that can be found online will suit all patients without exception.

For some, they can be really beneficial, while for others they will do great harm. All loads should be smooth, aimed at faster and more complete restoration of the functions of the affected joints.

At home it is recommended to perform a simple exercise: while lying down raise your leg, hold for a few minutes and then sit down. It is harmless and can be performed even by patients with the third stage of the disease. Under the supervision of a doctor, exercises are done to stretch the wrist capsule. But if it causes pain, then the execution should be stopped immediately.

Physiotherapeutic methods for treating a disease include:

physiotherapy for knee osteoarthritis
  • massage (it is strictly forbidden to do without a doctor's testimony);
  • manual therapy (should be as gentle as possible, not to cause discomfort);
  • laser medical treatment;
  • impact on reflexogenic points using the best needles;
  • heat or cold treatment (again, you do not need to perform thermal treatments at home);
  • magnetic field treatment;
  • phonophoresis;
  • electrophoresis;
  • paraffin therapy;
  • ozokerite treatment;
  • moxibustion with wormwood.

Nutrition for gonarthrosis

Proper nutrition is the basis for the successful treatment of degenerative diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Due to an improperly formulated diet, the patient may gain weight. Lack of vitamins, trace elements exacerbates the course of pathology.

All people with gonarthrosis should increase the amount of foods rich in vitamins and minerals in their daily diet.

Nutritionists recommend close monitoring of the caloric content of food. Fasting or extreme dieting is strictly forbidden. They can hurt, the body weight will increase even more.

It is imperative that you make sure your breakfast is balanced. You should eat at least five times a day. For appetizers, it is recommended to use fruits, bread.

The following foods and dishes are excluded:

drinks prohibited for osteoarthritis of the knee joint
  • sweet soda;
  • fatty foods;
  • semi-finished products;
  • spices;
  • dishes containing flavor and odor enhancers;
  • fatty meats;
  • fried foods;
  • Cabbage;
  • tomatoes and bell peppers;
  • orange, lemon;
  • chocolate;
  • bananas, grapes (have a lot of calories).

Jelly meats and jellies are helpful. They contain a large amount of collagen, due to which the bones are restored. Jelly meat is prepared so that it contains less fat, so its caloric content will be reduced.

Sources of protein for those suffering from osteoarthritis can be dairy products - cheese, cottage cheese or kefir. It is very beneficial to consume legumes. Be sure to include nuts in your diet.

It is necessary to observe the drinking regime. Provided there are no concomitant kidney diseases, it is recommended to consume about 2 liters of water.

About alternative treatment of the disease

It should be remembered that traditional methods can not replace effective methods of formal medicine. And therefore, they must be used in complex treatment, there can be no other therapy for this serious disease.

To relieve knee swelling, use regular soda. The fabric is soaked in soda and wrapped around the knee. Above, to increase the thermal effect, it is advisable to tie a plastic bag. Keep the compress prepared overnight.

compress for knee osteoarthritis

A similar compress is made with the addition of food vinegar. In parallel with the placement of compresses, it is necessary to take acetylsalicylic acid tablets.

burdock for knee osteoarthritis

Burdock leaves are very beneficial for the knee. Before applying the leaves, it is advisable to lubricate the knee with vegetable oil. It is necessary to have several layers of leaves.

All this is wrapped in a plastic bag. Birch leaf compresses are made in the same way.

Medical bile relieves inflammation, swelling and pain well. Used in the form of heat compresses at night. There are virtually no side effects.

Honey treatment is performed in cases when the patient is not allergic to it. Once the injured joint has been warmed with a heating pad, it should be smeared with honey and a gentle massage done. After that, tie the burdock leaves to the knee.

Prevention of gonarthrosis

Preventing a disease is much easier than curing it. Preventive measures include:

calcium products for knee osteoarthritis
  • high quality food, balanced with the use of a sufficient amount of protein, vitamins and calcium;
  • eradication of bad habits;
  • the fight against excess weight;
  • normalization of physical activity;
  • preventing joint damage during sports or strenuous physical work.

When the first symptoms of anxiety appear, it is important to see a doctor immediately. At a clinical consultation, it is possible to find out which doctor is treating gonarthrosis. It is advisable to undergo a comprehensive medical examination to find out the cause of the development of the disease.

Osteoarthritis of the knee is a serious disease: if ignored, there is a risk of complete disability and immobility. To prevent this, you need to properly treat the affected joint. Therapeutic measures started early contribute to the almost complete relief of this pathology, help maintain high performance, quality of life.