Knee osteoarthritis: extent, symptoms and treatments

What does the diagnosis of "knee osteoarthritis"

We are talking about the disease in which the cartilage is deformed and destroyed. Cartilage, being a dense cloth that acts as a shock absorber in any joint, it is necessary for its movement. When breakdown of cartilage in the joint gradually loses mobility, but if the disease is not treated, then completely ceases to work. However, in the early stages of osteoarthritis can be effectively treated with medication and physiotherapy.

Methods of treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee

By the way, Around 12% of young people suffer from arthritis, and in retirement this figure is above half — a quarter of all older complain of symptoms of this disease.

Women suffer osteoarthritis more often than men.

The risk group also includes athletes active training and microtrauma of the cartilage often lead to restriction of mobility of joints at a young age.

There is evidence that for osteoarthritis there is some genetic predisposition. If you have a family there were cases of this disease, you should carefully monitor the condition of the joints.

The causes of the disease

The reasons for the development of osteoarthritis of the knee a lot. These include:

  • trauma and microtrauma of the joints;
  • being overweight is an extra burden on the knee joint;
  • metabolic disorders in which cartilage lacks essential nutrients;
  • unbalanced load during physical work or excessive intensive training;
  • malfunctions of the circulatory system, in which impaired nutrition of the cartilage tissue;
  • prolonged spasms of blood vessels of the legs. Extent of knee OA and symptoms

Knee osteoarthritis develops gradually.So there are several degrees of this disease.

1 degree. At this stage, changes are still minor and can even loosely be determined by instrumental surveys. For developing osteoarthritis of the indicative symptoms, such as slight stiffness of the joint after long immobility (often in the morning) and crunching in the joint when sudden movements. Severe pain is usually there, so people often ignore these signs and go to the doctor only when knee reaches the 2nd stage.

2 the degree of the Joint deformation, the x-rays noticeable narrowing of the joint space and deformity of the cartilage. Symptoms become pronounced — patients complain of constant pain, which increases with the beginning of the movement, restriction of mobility, a noticeable stiffness in the morning. A small effort (e.g., lifting) also cause pain. Sometimes the skin over the joint becomes red, swells a bit and becomes warm to the touch — this indicates the development of inflammation. With osteoarthritis of the knee 2nd degree patients report increased pain when the weather changes or after exposure.

3 degree. Severe knee osteoarthritis is characterized by severe pain in all movements, lameness, and sometimes a marked shortening of the limb. The joint area is greatly swollen, and in the morning, people just can't get out of bed — sometimes you have to wait half an hour before motility is partially restored. When 3rd degree osteoarthritis of the knee joint cartilage significantly thinner, and in some places completely destroyed, so that the bones touch each other.

4 the degree. The complete destruction of the cartilage, excruciating pain and immobility — that's what you get, if you ignore the signs of osteoarthritis to the last. The joint space is lost and it starts the deformation of the bones. Diagnostics as the first stage of treatment

If you suspect the disease you should immediately make an appointment to see a doctor of podiatrist, who diagnosed her.

Diagnosis of osteoarthritis involves laboratory and instrumental methods.

The first is General and biochemical blood and urine analysis. These tests help to exclude autoimmune diseases, leading to the defeat of the joints, to determine the presence of inflammation.

Of instrumental methods of diagnosis of osteoarthritis most often used simple radiography in two projections, ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging.

Methods of treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee

Osteoarthritis of the knee is treated, but the prognosis is most favorable if you start treatment as early as possible on the 1-2 stages of the disease. Many methods of treatment, but only a comprehensive treatment gives the desired result.

Among the most effective methods of shock wave, drug therapy, traction of joints, intra-articular administration of drugs, muscle toning and physiotherapy (physical therapy).

Drug therapy

Helps to deal only with the symptoms.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

reduce inflammation and pain.


stimulate the nutrition of the articular cartilage. As a Supplement widely used ointments and gels with the analgesic effect, as well as external funds to relieve inflammation and improve blood microcirculation.


Shock wave therapy — the method by which the therapeutic effect is achieved by the effect of sound waves on tissue of the joint. This is a relatively painless procedure, which nevertheless allows to achieve impressive results — to relieve pain, to destroy and to soften calcium deposits (osteophytes), improve metabolic processes in tissues, normalize blood flow and relieve swelling, the language of ordinary people — "clean up" the joint. The effectiveness of treatment reaches 90%.

Physical therapy

Therapeutic exercise — is almost a necessary part of the therapy of osteoarthritis of the knee. kinesitherapy is a specific exercises with a carefully calculated load and hydrotherapy — exercises that are performed with specialized medical devices. Physical therapy allows to restore joint mobility, improve blood flow, develop and strengthen ligaments.

Traction of joints

Traction, or traction of joints is carried out on a special orthopedic apparatus. This method stretches the joint and extends the joint space, resulting in reduced friction of the articular surfaces and the patient's joint is unloaded. The positive effect observed in 80% of cases.

Intra-articular injections

Is how to drain excess synovial fluid, and injection of pharmaceuticals — anti-inflammatory, analgesic and improves blood flow to the articular cartilage of drugs, etc.

It is necessary to tell about such a method as injection own patient plasma in the joint capsule of the growth factors contained in plasma. They speed up recovery and regeneration of damaged articular cartilage. The advantage of PRP is that on its own the plasma is not allergies, this is a safe biological stimulator of regeneration. 2-3 months after a course of PRP, patients note that the pain and stiffness has decreased by half, and the mobility of the joint improved.

Muscle toning

Method of treatment based on stimulation of the muscles microcurrents. In case of arthrosis of the knee joint is atrophy of the thigh muscles, compromised blood supply. This dramatically increases the load on the joints.

Stimulation helps to strengthen these muscles, thereby to relieve the load on the joint, improve blood circulation, to form a solid frame for the joint.


Arthroscopic of debridment

arthroscopic debridment. Method used for removal from the joint of the elements of the destroyed cartilage, meniscus part. The operation is performed under video control. The endoprosthesis. If the joint is completely destroyed, it can only be replaced with artificial. The endoprosthesis resorted to only in the most severe cases, the third or the fourth stage of the disease.

Your new knee will last 12-15 years. For the timely diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the knee is important not to pull and not to postpone the visit to the doctor and self-medicate using over-the-counter remedies.

Osteoarthritis develops gradually, but in some people between the first symptoms of the disease and the time to salvage the joint can only operation, after only a few years — it all depends on the individual. In most cases, early diagnosis and comprehensive approach to treatment can control the symptoms of arthritis and restore joint.