Knee osteoarthritis: what is it, symptoms, and myths about treatment

Osteoarthritis of the knee (gonarthrosis) is a complex disease of degenerative nature that affects the bone and cartilaginous part of the knee. The disease most often affects the knee Department of the lower limbs. Pathological changes in cartilage and periarticular areas, which in most cases develop on the background of injuries, biological aging, disorders of an autoimmune nature, seriously inhibit the locomotor capacity of the legs. Joint becomes almost fluid loses stability, normal motor and cushioning. In the end, he gradually deformed, and in the last stages completely out of order.

osteoarthritis of the knee

Because pathology tend to progress quickly and not to succumb to conservative therapy, it is often necessary to resort to surgical intervention. Today, the main treatment grade 3-4 of osteoarthritis is joint replacement, or knee replacement endoprosthesis.

Attention! Prosthetics is sometimes advisable to spend and the 2 tbsp. if not marked improvement after using non-surgical treatment, and also when the development of rheumatoid arthritis contributed to the nature of the disease or other systemic disease.

Important about disease

Start section description of the causes, stages, symptoms, and then delve into the issues of treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. Patients important to investigate the therapeutic tactics read the following material to possess full information regarding the mechanism of origin and clinical manifestations of pathology. Just note that arthrosis and arthritis are closely linked, as the disease is a consequence of the disease. But where there are the unfortunate diseases that ruthlessly destroy the most important bone connection? What is the severity of gonarthrosis and what manifestations it is possible to recognize it?


Degenerative pathogenesis launch the following factors provocateurs:

  • once the trauma – fractures of the tibia, dislocated knee, damage to the body of the meniscus, tears and torn ligaments, falling on his knees, various kicks and the like;
  • excessive exercise;
  • sedentary lifestyle;
  • high body mass index;
  • systemic pathology of rheumatoid, gouty, psoriatic type, and also ankylosing spondylitis, systemic lupus erythematosus;
  • genetically inherited weakness in the ligaments and muscles or congenital underdevelopment of the structural elements of joints;
  • violations of metabolism and blood circulation;
  • hormonal failure, diabetes and other endocrine pathologies;
  • moved or chronic infectious and inflammatory diseases.

Quite often, people themselves become perpetrators in order to develop hard-to-treat disease of the joints. Often, getting injured, they ignore referral to a specialist, preferring to do the first drug from pain, homemade lotions and the like. A few years spent in past inadequate treatment, they come to the doctor already with osteoarthritis, in the best case – moderate. And there is one physical prevention and analgesic ointments, as a very early flow, will not do, often it is necessary to act radically, using surgical approach.

The stage of destruction

In orthopedics, the disease is divided into stage from which further pushes the expert when drawing up the regimens. Of course, the specifics of the therapy is further defined by etiology and arthrosis, that is, the reasons and conditions of occurrence, and many other criteria. The extent, the nature, the location, the nature of the origin of the destruction of the bone connecting the knee revealed through a series of diagnostic procedures such as x-rays, MRI, CT, ultrasound, different types of blood and urine of the patient.

the symptoms of osteoarthritis

Qualitative treatment of the question can not be deployed without information both on the state of the knee joint, and the peculiarities of the patient, and without a visit to the doctor and getting the proper therapeutic recommendations. Thus, in order to improve the quality of life, do not ignore a visit to a skilled specialist, only he can tell you whether you can do skilled using conservative or still in your problem will be effective only surgery.

A simplified diagram of the stages of degeneration of the knee joint, from complete absence, to the last degree of osteoarthritis.

As previously mentioned, pathology has several stages of development, according to the classification of Kellgren's only four of them. They all characterize the severity of morphological changes (presence of osteophytes, reducing the volume of the articular cartilage and the degree of thinning, narrowing of the joint space, etc.) and clinical symptoms (limitation of flexion/extension, the load carrying capacity, the nature and intensity of pain, etc.). Now consider stage.

  • Osteoarthritis of the first (initial) stage – is a disease that is in its infancy. External symptoms are mild or absent, congruence, and shape of joint is satisfactory. On x-rays or MRI pictures traced small marginal osteophytes at the edges of the articular surfaces, the articular Department mild subchondral osteosclerosis, small bone cyst. The joint space is usually normal or modified, but not essential.
  • When the disease of the second degree (moderate-average), in addition to the above indicators, osteosclerotic lesion is more pronounced, clearly shows the narrowing of the interarticular gap. The patient begins more and more pain relief at the time of the walk, descending/climbing stairs, long standing, sometimes at night. Develops lameness, movement of joints and muscles acquire a disability, especially when bending.
  • The third stage (marked medium) is characterized by a sharp progression of irreversible changes and deformations. Joint configuration significantly distorted, the distance between the articular surfaces is greatly reduced, bone growths in the form of spikes (osteophytes) of increased size. The pain becomes prolonged and pronounced, and worried man even at rest, the lameness increases. Addicted to support devices (canes, walkers, etc.) and assistance. The classical conservative approach and alternative medicine here is powerless.
  • The fourth stage – the peak of degenerative pathogenesis, when there are volume growth, hyaline cartilage is completely destroyed, the joint space disappears or is barely seen, the articulated bone epiphyses forming the joint, the strongest strain. The knee joint is recognized as a fully viable on the musculoskeletal system of the person becomes incapacitated. The last degree of both the knee and the hip joint is also inevitably require surgery.


The severity of clinical manifestations depends not only on the pathological features, but also from the factor of individuality. Anyway, pleasant enough in gonarthrosis, is very hard and on the 2nd, and 3-4 tbsp. Into a common list of symptoms includes:

  • pain, mostly mechanical type (dull, aching, sharp, unexpected, periodic and permanent);
  • the crunch when moving;
  • stiffness of the joint;
  • limitation of range of motion;
  • muscle weakness of the limbs;
  • hyperthermia of the skin and swelling in the knee area;
  • gait changes, manifested by lameness and pain in the legs;
  • instability or syndrome "drawer";
  • the "jamming" of the knee, occurs when a sudden blockage of the movements of bone joints.

Overview of the treatment process

how does osteoarthritis

Bezoperatsionnye methods of treatment suitable in the initial phase of deforming arthrosis. The principle of non surgical treatment and prevention of progression of osteoarthritis of the knee includes:

  • systematic execution of physical therapy, was developed by a professional individually;
  • conducting physiotherapy procedures (electro myostimulation, magnetic therapy, UHF, laser treatment and the like);
  • use of painkillers in the form of ointments, tablets, injections, etc.;
  • proper nutrition and following a special diet prescribed by a doctor;
  • compliance with special regime of daily physical activity;
  • a complete rejection of bad habits;
  • implicit re-transmission of the diagnostic control (the frequency between the last and next survey, depending on the specifics of medical problems, can be 3, 6 or 12 months);
  • annual visit to a specialized sanatorium-resort medical facilities.

Now take a look at surgical ways in which often there is a need, because in the early stage, the pathology often remains unnoticed. Basically you have to have to deal with osteoarthritis in full bloom", which covered a large-scale joint structures and periarticular touched matter.

  • Joint replacement – the gold standard Orthopaedics – helping more than 95% of the cases as fully as possible to restore the lost motor and support the functions of the knee Department of the lower extremity. A difficult operation, followed by a difficult rehabilitation, but the effect is worth it. After approximately 3 months after installation of the artificial analogue of the native joint is subjected to irreversible pathological changes, returned full range of motion of the legs completely eliminated the pain.
  • Introduzione – not common procedure "closure" joint, because of its aggressive impact on biological structures, however, sometimes it is the place to be, for example, if a person is not able to undergo implantation. Its essence lies in removing the articular surfaces and rigid connection of the mating bones (femoral, tibial component and patella) with a special fixing devices in an advantageous position. Over time, there is a natural fusion of these elements. Artificial ankylosis completely blocks the mobility of the joint, but allows to achieve a good carrying capacity of the limbs and reduction of pain.
  • Osteotomy of the knee – also used in extreme situations for the same reason as arthrodesis, in particular when it is necessary to delay hip replacement for several years. At the time of the operative session, the specialist performs the artificial fracture, making bone cut and positioning them under the more correct angle to advantageously distribute the load on the cartilage elements. We emphasize that the positive outcome effect persists for a short time, within an average of 5 years.

Exercise irreversible pathogenesis will not fix it, you have to understand it. Newfangled ointments, and even medications from the series of drugs for the joints, not to mention my grandmother's advice to be treated gelatin, too, a special role will not play. High than they can help in running state Affairs, as it is to prepare the musculoskeletal system to the operation, particularly with regard to physical therapy and use medications for your joints.

Cellular technology

We will focus on autologous transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells of the patient with osteoarthritis of the knee, taken from the crest of the pelvic or femoral bone. Cell therapy, according to concerned sources, will allow to achieve not only self-healing of the joint due to the activation of regenerative processes of self-healing in the damaged segment. Thanks to this technology it is theoretically possible to achieve improvement of the legal units of bone and cartilage of the body. However, in practice, yet there is no "live" x-ray evidence, which confirmed that after the introduction of stem cells into the affected area of the joint is healthy.

The positive impact of stem cells on the joints and bones are not proven and doubtful, because this technique in orthopedics is still not recognized. Its scientists are just learning and experimenting. Moreover, there is information regarding the dangerous effects on the human body stem cells, which, in the opinion of professional experts, capable to provoke a cancer. What about those people who paid for the procedure, it was satisfied with the result? Here you can only say one thing: many patients believe for the money, and in eternal life, but the placebo effect only lasts so long, don't forget about it.

treatment of osteoarthritis

The popular treatment

We all know that people in ancient times spoke to people ways in the fight against various diseases. And in this modern age, despite an adequate development of officially recognized medicine, this direction has not lost relevance. But we should not forget that folk remedies are used as complementary activities that complement the main therapy, but does not override it. Thanks to the popular recipes is really a few relieve symptoms and enhance the effect of the treatment prescribed for arthritis and arthrosis of the knee. But, again, as we have repeatedly warned, the only early manifestation of adverse morphological changes.

What ways did not invent people and nontraditional doctors! Among the many recipes there are tinctures, balms, miracle ointment with vodka and oil, the same gelatin, honey and many other ingredients. One of the recipes even include bear bile, which is of no use on the joint does not provide. The effectiveness of each method of folk therapy is difficult to judge, individually: someone becomes easier, and someone tried everything, but nothing extraordinary, promised by the authors of developments occurred. And all because from deforming arthrosis just to get rid of in advanced cases, the output of one operation.