Knee osteoarthritis — symptoms and treatment

Knee osteoarthritis is characterized by the fact that the process of destruction of the cartilage of the joint. Because of the metabolic disorders, cartilage tissue does not receive the necessary nutrients and fluids, resulting in its degeneration.

Suffer from this disease is usually the elderly. But, due to poor lifestyle that every year there is a tendency to diagnose disease at an earlier age. The sooner arthritis is detected, the more effective it will be possible to cope with him at home without resorting to medication or surgical treatment.

osteoarthritis of the knee

Causes of osteoarthritis

The main causes that can trigger pathological process are:

  1. Obesity.
  2. Congenital abnormalities of the muscles and ligaments that can become a cause of osteoarthritis in children.
  3. Inflammatory processes in the knee joint (e.g., arthritis).
  4. Violation of cellular metabolism, diseases of the nervous system.
  5. Injuries and other damage to the cartilage pads (menisci), dislocations of joints, fractures of bones of the feet.
  6. Surgical intervention removal of the meniscus or part of it.
  7. Sports with a high degree of load on the lower limbs, especially inappropriate to the age of the person.
  8. Spasms of the thigh muscles, often on a background of stress and nervous shock.
  9. Varicose vessels of the extremities, venous thrombosis.

Deforming arthrosis of the knee develops gradually, as dysfunction of articular cartilage lining the surface of the femoral condyles and the articular surfaces of the patella and the tibia. This condition is the result of insufficient blood circulation in the region of the knee joint.

As a result, the insecurity of the cartilage with essential nutrients leads to its desiccation in vel, layering, and destruction. Bone tissue in the thinning or complete disappearance of the hyaline cartilage thickens, forming a compensatory expansion on the periphery.

The symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee

Clinical manifestations of osteoarthritis are very diverse and, depending on the degree of joint disease can be expressed more or less brightly. What is osteoarthritis of the knee, can confirm the following symptoms:

  1. Pain. In the beginning of the disease it is almost imperceptible, but as it progression increases. The duration of pain may be different, depending on what kind of load are subjected to the joints.
  2. Crunching in the joint when a certain movement. This is a manifestation of many disease for a long time do not pay attention, resulting in the start osteoarthritis. Without treatment, the disease progresses, leading to significant joint destruction.
  3. The reduction in amplitude of movements of the limb. Most often a patient can not bend the knee or straighten it. This happens for the reason that the patient is unwittingly trying to minimize the pain, even in his absence.
  4. Stiffness. This phenomenon arises from the fact that the joint is constrained by multiple protective duis that are generated around the nerves that through the destruction of the joints bare.
  5. Jamming of the knee joint in any position. When the symptom joint locked in one position and all attempts to move it meets a sharp pain. Most often it is the jamming is due to the fact that due to violations of the structure of a knee ligament beyond its normal location and spazmiruyutsya in this state.
  6. Dislocation or subluxation of the knee. This symptom occurs in the period when the disease has gone too far and the ligaments and joint capsule do not perform their functions.

People must clearly understand that the later he began treatment, the harder it is the higher the risk that will need surgery to replace the joint.

the stage of osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis of the knee 1st degree

In this case, the disease is characterized by slight pain when performing active movements. May accumulate synovial fluid in the joint cavity, which leads to the formation of Baker's cyst. Pain occur during movement, but are at rest. The cartilage tissue is damaged, but externally, the deformation of the joint is not noticeable.

With the help of x-rays at this stage of the development of osteoarthritis diagnosis difficult, requires additional methods of examination.

Osteoarthritis of the knee 2nd degree

There is a narrowing of the joint space, the cartilage is damaged to a large extent. In the picture obtained during radiography, it is possible to notice the growth of bones. Acute pain is accompanied by any movement which involved the knee joint. At rest the unpleasant sensations are, but then appear again. Added to the pain characteristic crunch in the implementation tendentes-extensor movements.

Gradually the function of the joint becomes impossible. The knee ceases to bend and straighten. Externally, the doctor can determine the bone deformation.

Osteoarthritis of the knee 3 degrees

Sometimes the cartilage becomes thinner, finally, the formation of bare areas of bone. On the radiograph clearly seen a large number of osteophytes – salt deposits in the joint cavity. In addition, there may be discovered free of the body.

External changes are becoming more noticeable. To cope with the pain, stop the movement, now fails. It persists and when exercising the joint and at rest.


In the diagnosis of gonarthrosis are patient interviews, physical examination and radiography of the affected joint. Sometimes, the doctor prescribes ultrasound of the joint, rarely are imaging or computed tomography of the patient's knee. In doubtful cases, the doctor may puncture to take a sample for the study of synovial fluid in the joint cavity, but usually this is not necessary.

Many diseases of joints are very similar to the eyes of the layman signs and symptoms. Therefore, to understand the situation and make a correct diagnosis of knee OA can only be a specialist. Accordingly, when any signs of disease of the knee joint does not need to deal with sui diagnosis and self-treatment, should consult a doctor. Diagnosis and treatment of knee joint arthrosis (gonarthrosis) is a rheumatologist.

how to treat arthritis

How to treat arthrosis of the knee?

A unified scheme for the treatment of osteoarthritis does not exist, just as there is no one medication that would help all people equally. When planning treatment tactics, the doctor considers the age and condition of the patient, stage of the disease, the severity of pain and the degree of deformation of the joint.

Combination therapy is very important when conservative medical treatment, so it is necessary to combine the treatment to solve several problems:

  1. As quickly as possible to establish an accurate diagnosis. As soon as possible to start therapy, it will increase the chances of the prolongation of the remission period with minimal destruction of cartilage.
  2. You need to improve the nutrition of cartilage to speed up his recovery.
  3. Receiving prescribed painkillers.
  4. To increase the mobility of the joint.
  5. To strengthen the damaged joint and the surrounding muscles.
  6. To minimize pressure on areas of the joint bones and to strive to increase the distance between them.
  7. To intensify blood circulation in the damaged joint.

Therefore, the main methods of treatment of osteoarthritis are:

  • NSAIDs – nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which are prescribed intramuscularly or intravenously. Medicines in the form of injections give a more lasting and strong analgesic effect.
  • Chondroprotectors. These drugs contain substances included in the matrix of cartilage. These medicines are natural, well-perceived by the body and actively stimulate collagen synthesis. They are all tardus-agere drugs that need to take long courses. Some of them are available in the form of solutions for injection. This form of application is most effective.
  • Hormonal drugs. This group of medications used for intraarticular injections in the presence of synovitis of the knee joint (inflammation of synovium). The goal of therapy – the removal of inflammation and pain in the shortest possible time. Minus application – damaging effect on the cartilage tissue, a large number of contraindications and side effects.
  • Rubbing. You can use various kinds of gels, ointments and creams. For the most part, they are tepidus and anti-inflammatory. The purpose of their application is to enhance local blood circulation and relieve inflammation.
  • Antifermental preparations. They neutralize the synthesis of some enzymes and prevent further degeneration of joints. For gonarthrosis they are administered intra-articular.
  • The removal of the tone. Antispasmodics help to remove the excess muscle tension in the damaged segment. It often occurs as a compensatory reaction of the body.
  • Improving blood circulation. Vasodilator drugs are used to reduce intravascular tone muscles. These drugs enhance the internal blood flow and improve tissue trophism, located around joint.
  • The hyaluronic acid. It is a natural component of cartilage and synovial fluid. Therefore, its introduction into the knee joint does not cause inflammation, rejection and other negative reactions.

Other options for treatment of gonarthrosis

In recent years, become increasingly popular modern methods of treatment of arthrosis of the knee joint, which can be used in combination with drug therapy and as a standalone therapy. In some cases, they can replace the medications or to combine with it.

New methods of treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee:

  • kinesitherapy – treatment of the joint with a special set of exercises aimed at therapeutic results;
  • ozone therapy kind of physiotherapy treatment using ozone, which is introduced into the joint or applied topically;
  • homeopathy;
  • the use of biologically active additives based on natural treatment and prevention of disease.

Kinesitherapy allows greatly extended the work of damaged tissue and stop the progression of the disease. This method is based on individual selection for each patient of the set of so-called "correct" movements that can be performed in patients alone or with the use of special machines and multifunction devices. Perform these exercise engages not only the muscles, but also helps normalize the functions of ligaments, tendons, nerve endings, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive and endocrine system.

Physiotherapy helps the body develop of these substances, like endorphins, are able to exert an analgesic effect and a beneficial effect on the mental state of the patient. Individual exercises, affecting the muscles, allow you to:

  • to unload the joints and spine;
  • to improve blood flow and lymphatic drainage in affected areas of the tissues of the knee joint;
  • to restore the elasticity of ligaments and their contractile and trophic function;
  • to improve nutrition and mobility in General;
  • to stimulate the regeneration of cartilage and bone;
  • eliminate the pain syndrome.

Ozone therapy, vincens increasingly popular in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee joint, is easy to use, high efficiency, minimal side effects and good tolerability.

Ozone therapy can be used:

ozone therapy
  • externally – the use of ozonized oils, ointments and antiseptic solutions, balneotherapy, in-line gassing in special plastic chambers;
  • parenteral – ozonized blood to the minor and major autohemotherapy, ozone injections into biologically active points, intra-articular administration, intravenous ozonized saline solution, intramuscular and subcutaneous administration.

The complex of measures for ozone therapy is chosen individually for each patient. Parenteral administration of ozone has a more pronounced effect and has a number of therapeutic effects:

  • anesthetic;
  • anti-inflammatory;
  • bactericidal;
  • normalizes blood circulation;
  • stimulates tissue repair of the joint.

In parallel with ozone can be applied glucocorticosteroid drugs and Chondroprotectors. This combination enhances the therapeutic properties of these drugs and reduce their adverse effects on cartilage.

For pain syndrome introduction of gas is performed in the area surrounding pathological focus or directly to the pain points, as well as inside of a joint. The number of points for subcutaneous administration of ozone can vary depending on the condition of the knee joint; at one point administered from 2 to 12 ml of ozone.

In parallel with intra-articular introduction of ozone patients assigned to intravenous infusion of ozonized 0,9% solution of sodium chloride (about 400 ml daily). As a rule, the course of ozone therapy consists of 10-12 intravenous and intra-articular injections of 5-7. After 3-4 treatments the patient has improved mobility of the affected joint and greatly reduced pain. Clinical effect of ozone therapy may persist for 4 to 9 months.