Arthrosis or gonarthrosis of the knee joint

causes of arthrosis of the knee joint

In the disease group of degenerative-dystrophic musculoskeletal system of origin, gonarthrosis of the knee joint takes the lead.

Gonarthrosis or arthrosis of the knee joint is a disease that is accompanied by slow destruction of joint cartilage tissue with the involvement of the entire joint in pathological processes, including ligaments, synovium, subcondral bones and other joint elements.

Under the influence of various factors, such as infectious diseases (colds, flu, typhoid, tuberculosis, syphilis, tonsillitis, etc. ), injuries, joint function congestion (for example, in athletes, workers involved in physical exertion, ballet dancers) there is a violation of trophism (nutrition) of the cartilage tissue of the knee joint, as a result, the cartilage becomes thinner and shattered, sometimes even disappearing.

Who is at risk? First of all, arthrosis of the knee joint is at risk of "generating income" for women over the age of forty, they have it 2 times more often than in the strong half of humans. Moreover, the risk increases in women who tend to be overweight, or obese.

But in general, gonarthrosis is a disease of the elderly. And there is a simple explanation for this. As you know, cartilage tissue is about 70-80% water, as it absorbs well. In addition, at a young age, the cell "restorator" cells are actively functioning. With increasing age, the amount of moisture begins to decrease, and as a result, the ability to contain the joints worsens, the cartilage becomes dry, brittle and cracked, and the existing chondrocytes do not have time to repair the damage. In many ways, this explains the occurrence of knee joint gonarthrosis.

Causes of disease

how arthrosis of the knee joint manifests itself

Predisposing factors are overweight, physical inactivity, chronic joint injury or systemic joint microtrauma, alcohol abuse, chronic stress, previous or existing knee joint disease, such as:

  • knee arthritis,
  • sprain, partial rupture or complete ligament,
  • intra-articular fractures of the femur or tibia,
  • metabolic disorders, such as gout, and some other pathological conditions.

Often, it is not possible to determine a specific cause of knee joint gonarthrosis, in which case they discuss the underlying cause, i. e. , gonarthrosis is the result of several diseases at once.

Also, the disease, by reason of its occurrence, is usually divided into two forms: primary and secondary.

Primary arthrosis is caused by age and related factors, such as:

  • Professional tendencies,
  • Overweight,
  • Obesity,
  • Varicose veins on the lower leg.

The cause of secondary gonarthrosis can be a previous knee injury (fracture, rupture of the ligament apparatus), called post-traumatic arthrosis of the knee joint. The same cause may be a previous infectious disease or inflammation of the knee joint.


Signs of arthrosis of the knee joint do not appear overnight, the development of the disease occurs gradually and often takes months, or even years. Permanent pain and increased physical activity - walking, running, descending or climbing stairs and so on - appears forward. Another characteristic feature of this disease is the presence of crepitus in the joints, it can be a crack or crack in the knee.

The most common manifestations of gonarthrosis are:

  • increase in local temperature (hot joints when touched) or general,
  • the presence of swelling of the joints,
  • increases its volume,
  • difficulty moving,
  • joint deformity followed by limb curvature.
stage of development of knee arthrosis

As the disease progresses, when the cartilage tissue is completely destroyed, the body has no choice but to start defending itself. This is indicated by the proliferation of bone tissue in the bones that form the joints in the form of "thorns" (osteophytes), there is deformed arthrosis of the knee joint. Exudate appears in the articular cavity.

Depending on the size of the osteophyte and the degree of deformation, the degree of gonarthrosis is differentiated:

  • Gonarthrosis grade 1.Patients feel cramps and pain in the joints in the morning or when sitting or standing for long periods of time. There are no joint defects at this stage, mobility remains complete. X-rays revealed small osteophytes.
  • 2nd grade gonarthrosisperform movements. X-rays showed significant osteophyte, unchanged joint space.
  • Gonarthrosis class 3.The manifestations are the same as in the second stage, only the symptoms are more pronounced. The pain is permanent, does not subside even at rest and sleep. Joint function is almost completely lost, the patient is unable to bend the leg, or straighten it. As a result, defects occur, movement becomes possible only with crutches, or external assistance. There is significant deformation of the knee joint. On x-rays, slight narrowing of the joint space is determined.
  • There is also a fourth level, where there is a state of complete immobilization of the affected joint with further deformation. On x-rays, the phenomenon of subclondral bone sclerosis and significant narrowing of joint space is determined.

Treatment of knee arthrosis

To get good results from treatment, you should seek the help of a qualified rheumatologist, and if he is not there, then a therapist, because they know how to cure arthrosis of the knee joint. If you do not try it yourself, this can only make matters worse. Before starting treatment, it is very important to make a correct diagnosis, because a correct diagnosis is the key to successful treatment.

Treatment of gonarthrosis is a relatively long process and depends on a number of factors (type of arthrosis, cause of arthrosis, stage of the disease). The treatment is complex and includes both drug and non-drug therapy, and in some cases, surgical treatment is indicated.

Medication treatment of arthrosis of the knee joint is aimed primarily at relieving the main manifestations of the disease, such as:

  • Pain;
  • Inflammation of joint and periarticular tissues.

In addition to relieving the symptoms of the disease, medications are used to:

  • joint tissue repair,
  • improves trophism and blood circulation,
  • strengthens the body's defenses,
  • elimination of allergic reactions.

Various non-narcotic analgesics are used to relieve pain symptoms, in rare cases, narcotic analgesics are prescribed for a short time. Often, drugs are used from the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They have a combination of anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic effects.

methods of treating knee arthrosis

Chondroprotectors are used to restore cartilage tissue and increase joint mobility. This drug stimulates the activity of cartilage cells - chondrocytes, and helps it repair tissues. The insertion of an intra-articular head protector gives a good effect. In recent years, effective new products based on hyaluronic acid have emerged. For its action, this drug is called "fluid prosthesis". After being injected into a diseased joint, the drug forms a protective film on the damaged cartilage and gradually restores normal lubricating properties of the joint.

Muscle relaxation is used to relieve muscle cramps, in addition to the relaxing effect, it has a positive effect on blood circulation in the affected joints.

Manual and physical therapy are widely used in non-drug methods for the treatment of gonarthrosis. The most important are magnetotherapy, acupuncture, electrophoresis and massage, tool attraction (joint joints) and others. Recently, methods such as laser therapy, cryotherapy (exposure to liquid nitrogen) have entered the practice of treating arthrosis. Along with physiotherapy, exercise therapy for knee joint arthrosis also has a beneficial effect. Lfk is the use of various physical exercises for therapeutic purposes.

Gymnastics for arthrosis of the knee joint

At the onset of the disease, physical activity on the diseased joint should be minimized. You cannot go jogging, jumping, lifting weights, brisk walking, squatting. Exercises for knee joint arthrosis can be done only after undergoing treatment, under the supervision of your doctor.

gymnastics for knee arthrosis

You should choose exercises that can strengthen the muscles and ligaments of the affected knee joint, but at the same time do not cause the joints to experience excessive movement. That is, training should be done with minimal dynamic activity. It is useful to do exercises to stretch the ligaments and joint capsules. The rules are the same, training is done gently, without effort.

When doing gymnastics, it is important to follow a few rules:

  • Do not exercise due to pain
  • If exercise causes pain, then it should be replaced with something softer.

Massage for knee arthrosis has a beneficial effect on the restoration of knee joint function. At the site of exposure, blood vessels expand, blood circulation improves and metabolism is accelerated. Massage procedures increase lymph flow, and this, in turn, helps eliminate residual inflammation. Massage strengthens the muscular system, increases the flow of oxygen in it, increases gas exchange, normalizes their tone, and improves plasticity.

Diet for knee arthrosis

Recently, physicians have found that there is no direct link between the occurrence of gonarthrosis and diet. However, the indisputable fact is that the development of arthrosis is greatly influenced by the presence of excess weight in a person. If the cause of this disease is overweight, then it is clear that the diet for knee joint arthrosis should be aimed at gradual weight loss. This requires changes in diet and changes in diet. Foods should be low in calories, fried foods and high-fat foods should be excluded from the diet. Eat more vegetables, fruits and fluids.

Prevention of osteoarthritis of the knee joint

In order for the joints to stay healthy for as long as possible, it is necessary to get used to the physical and gymnastic culture, but do not get too carried away with this, so that this does not cause excessive joint load. Swimming gives the best effect and minimal pressure on the joints. If professional sports are involved, joint protection should be used. It is useful to replace physical activity with rest, you can not stop long for a long time.

Adhering to all these simple rules, along with a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition, will not let arthrosis of the knee joint ruin any person’s life.