Knee arthritis - symptoms, treatment. Deforming arthrosis of the knee joint

Knee osteoarthritis is a slowly progressive inflammatory and degenerative disease of the joints. Most often this disease occurs in middle-aged and elderly and is the most common cause of musculoskeletal pain in the area of the knee joint and disability. From this publication you will learn how to treat arthrosis of the knee joint.

Deforming arthrosis

General description

In the knee joint of the femur and tibia are covered with articular cartilage. There is also a second type of cartilage, forming the so-called menisci, which act as layers or shock absorbers. Extra protection and smooth movement adds joint fluid. Osteoarthritis begins to develop, if disturbed and damaged cartilage that protects the bones, causing the bone surface exposed, and the articular lubrication is no longer being produced in the required quantity. This can be observed as a full or partial loss of cartilage. This process is often isolated to a specific area in the joint, in such cases, it may be caused by injury and chronic wear and tear of the joint.

Deforming arthrosis of the knee characterized by the destruction of its cartilaginous shells. In the future, the process could start and the next tissue, for example ligaments and bones. Gonarthrosis or osteoarthritis of the knee, due to the loss of cartilage is accompanied by an increase of stiffness and joint deformity. Bone spurs (osteophytes), which are abnormal growth of bones, sometimes even can be felt outside. Surfaces of the bones are deformed and no longer closed and is not suitable to each other, as in healthy joints. The result is increased restriction of movement.

At the same time there is pain, which is especially strong when moving after prolonged immobility, such as in the morning and also at night, which ultimately leads to reduced quality of life. Stress can also trigger pain in the affected joint. Indirect sign of abnormal cartilage is viewable narrowing of the joint cavity between the femur and tibia on x-ray.

Pain in osteoarthritis


Causes of arthritis a few: is the process of aging and deterioration of the cartilage, excess weight, trauma, autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks its own joint tissue, causing inflammation and subsequent destruction. An example is rheumatoid arthritis that affects both joints at the same time and develops a disability. Some experts combine concepts such as arthritis and knee osteoarthritis, symptoms of these diseases are similar and are often caused by the same reason.

Reduced blood supply of the femoral head may also cause deformation of the cartilage, in this case we talk about aseptic necrosis. To shift the mechanical axis and degeneration of the knee joint can lead to inadequate formation of the knee joint in early childhood. Post-traumatic arthritis are secondary and develop in the result of damage to the menisci, anterior or posterior cruciate ligament.


There are three degrees of knee OA, each of which has its own characteristics. In the first stage marked the mild pain, discomfort in the diseased place, and intermittent swelling. The second level is accompanied by increased symptoms, a crunch and a limitation. When pain almost do not leave the person, and the cartilage tissue is thoroughly destroyed, the disease goes into osteoarthritis of the knee 3 degrees.

Pain in osteoarthritis may appear suddenly, but most often it develops slowly. People may notice pain in the morning after rising from bed. Knees can ache when walking up the stairs, or when you have to get down on bended knee, and often painful sensations occur just while walking. For weather-sensitive people, weather changes may also cause joint pain.

The puffiness is the consequence of inflammation, which periodically increases with osteoarthritis. Swelling can also be associated with the formation of bone spurs or the accumulation of excess fluid in the knee. They may be more pronounced after a long period of inactivity, for example in the morning or after a long stay at your Desk. The skin may become reddish and hot to the touch. If there is chronic inflammation of the joint, pain and swelling usually achieved by taking anti-inflammatory drugs.

Damaged cartilage

Buckling develops over time due to the weakening of muscles and instability of the entire system. From time to time there are situations when people are simply unable to bend or fully straighten the knee. This symptom typically accompany knee-joint of 2 degrees. The crunch is felt when driving because the cartilage surface has lost its initial smoothness and the required number of synovial lubrication. In the later stages creaking sound may be caused because bone spurs RUB against each other during movement.

Limited range of motion can be noticed when climbing stairs or during exercise. Many are forced to resort to using a Walker or cane to move around. Deformation of the knee joint is, perhaps, the most terrible symptom of osteoarthritis, because it indicates irreversible changes in the joint, turning to the invalid. Knees can be converted to each other inside and out. Deformity of the knee can be from barely noticeable to significant.


Definition of osteoarthritis of the knee begins with a physical inspection by doctors, the study of history and conversation with the patient. Be sure to note the doctor that often becomes the cause of the pain, and tell us about cases of the disease in the family, if any.

Additional diagnostics can be performed using:

  • radiography, which can show the presence of bone spurs and changes in the cartilage;
  • magnetic resonance imaging;
  • blood tests help to identify autoimmune disorders.

How to treat knee arthritis what medicines are required for this? The answers to these questions look for next.

Principles of treatment

The standard treatment of such disease as osteoarthritis of the knee, aimed primarily at eliminating pain and removing functional limitations. You should know that painkillers only weaken the symptoms, but not able to influence the course of the disease and repair damaged cartilage. For treatment use of narcotic analgesics, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, slow acting gold drugs, corticosteroids, methotrexate, etc.


In addition, you may need surgical intervention as well as therapeutic exercise and physiotherapy. Exercises for osteoarthritis of the knee joint significantly helps in the treatment, exercises are selected by the attending physician. Despite the fact that in modern pharmacology are involved in active research and develop the most effective and at the same time, safe drugs for the treatment of osteoarthritis, most drugs have their side effects and long-term use disrupts the normal functioning of systems and organs.


Medical therapy of osteoarthritis of the knee joint involves three main areas:

  • the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which are needed in order to relieve pain and reduce the intensity of the inflammatory process in tissues;
  • medications for cartilage repair, including cartilage protectors: glucosamine and chondroitin;
  • the use of creams and ointments in the complex therapy of deforming arthrosis.

The combination of therapeutic exercise, manual therapy the medication can slow the process of destruction of the articular cartilage, accelerating the regeneration of cartilage tissue and restore the normal functioning of the limb.

The main goal of medical treatment is the elimination of pain syndrome, better nutrition of cartilage, activation of regenerative processes, increase of joint mobility and normalization of blood circulation in the knee.

Non-steroidal drugs

The most common for the treatment of osteoarthritis are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as "Diclofenac", "Indometacin", "Piroxicam", "Ketoprofen" and others. They are used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation, but long-term treatment of these funds is not recommended as drugs of this group have unwanted side effects, including a negative impact on the gastric mucosa and intestine, influence on kidney, liver and cardiovascular system. However, each drug has its own characteristics. And recently started to developed funds with minimal risk to the health of the patient.

In addition, despite the need of these methods, some studies have revealed that NSAIDs can lead to decreased production of proteoglycans, thereby dehydrating the cartilage, so taking such drugs should be strictly on prescription and under his control. The frequency of side effects with NSAIDs increases with their prolonged use, which is a necessity for many patients with osteoarthritis. Experts recommend to choose for long-term use of selective anti-inflammatory drugs with fewer side effects and do not have negative impact on the metabolism of cartilage.

Non-steroidal drugs

Most NSAIDs are available in different forms: in the form of capsules or tablets, in the form of solution for injections and ointments or gels for local, topical use.

Funds for reconstruction of cartilage

For nutrition and regeneration of cartilage to its tissues need a constant supply of these compounds as chondro – glucosamine and chondroitin. This is a useful substance for people with osteoarthritis of the knee joint. Their intake should be for a very long time, from six months and more, only in this case, you can expect a positive therapeutic effect. Chondroprotectors improve the quality and quantity of synovial fluid, in contrast to NSAIDs, they increase the synthesis of proteoglycans and contribute to the regeneration of the cartilage plate. However, because of these useful properties of these compounds should not be considered as a basic treatment of osteoarthritis. Deforming arthrosis of the knee joint requires the use of preparations of chondroitin and glucosamine not less than 1.5 years. Also take into account that they are not able to completely restore destroyed cartilage.

Ointments and creams

The treatment of such diseases as osteoarthritis of the knee, must include local use of gels and ointments. These forms of medicines should not be relied upon as the only treatment option, their use should be regarded as a necessary adjunct to NSAIDs, and chondroprotectors. These drugs significantly reduce the discomfort, pain, swelling, improve the mobility of the joints.

This effect is due to the fact that penetrating into the bloodstream through the skin, ointments and creams to improve circulation in the joint, accelerate the metabolism in the cartilage and its regeneration.


Of an application in osteoarthritis have a greater effect than the application of ointments. For health-promoting packs frequently prescribed remedy "Dimexide", which has good anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, it penetrates the tissues. Also effective bishofit, accelerating metabolic processes in the cartilage.


Folk remedies

Within the knee joint synovial fluid is very viscous, it ensures the absence of friction fabrics. An important part of this lubricant acts as hyaluronic acid, which binds to proteoglycans to stabilize the structure of cartilage. Patients with osteoarthritis, the level of this compound in the synovial fluid significantly reduced, whereby the latter becomes less viscous, the friction increases.

Injection into the knee of hyaluronic acid can slow the progression of osteoarthritis, symptomatic relief but receives only half of people with this diagnosis. The course of injections is usually three weeks, with once every seven days is one injection. Six months later the procedure is recommended to repeat.

Folk remedies

Knee osteoarthritis involves a comprehensive approach to treatment, recipes of traditional medicine are as an additional therapy. Noteworthy tools such as a decoction of onion peel, infusion of leaves of a dandelion, a mixture of aloe Vera, vodka and honey in equal volumes, night compresses of salt with honey and many others. It is also recommended to eat more jelly and jelly.

Joint replacement

If all the above treatment failed, then the operation is a replacement joint prosthesis. The main goal of surgery is to restore the natural mechanical axis of the leg and a complete relief from pain and discomfort. This can be replaced either part of the joint or the entire joint completely. Continuous improvement of surgical equipment and the quality of implants has made this procedure is quite successful and widespread.