Knee joint disease (knee joint disease)

Arthropathy of the knee joint (also called knee joint disease) is a fairly common disease that has recently been found not only in the elderly, but also in the young.

Knee joint disease

If the patient refuses to seek help from a traumatologist or orthopedic surgeon, pathology is one of the main causes of disability.

Let us consider why patients suffer from knee arthritis, what are the main symptoms, how dangerous it is, and how to effectively treat the progressive destruction of the knee joint.

The main cause of this pathology

The joints are often under a lot of pressure. The knees are particularly affected: they are forced to do a lot of manual labor, which is why they wear out very quickly. The fact that the legs are forced to bear the weight of the body exacerbates the deformation process.

This fact further causes the knees to begin to wear, and the articular cartilage tissue becomes thinner and degenerate.

Healthy knee cartilage and arthropathy

The following reasons can accelerate the pathological process of joints:

  1. The patient gained weight. The complete destruction of joints occurs faster and more intensely. It has been proven that the incidence of the diseases in question in obese people is three times that of normal-weight people.
  2. Strenuous exercise, so joints are often injured.
  3. Frequent fractures and previous knee injuries have caused the patient to degenerate articular cartilage from a very young age.
  4. Abnormal bone position-so-called valgus or varus deformity.
  5. Dysplasia of the knee ligaments leads to frequent injuries and dislocations. As a result of the described injury, the patient developed arthropathy.
  6. Meniscus injury can cause a degenerative process that destroys the knee joint.
  7. Constant stress can cause the health of the musculoskeletal system to deteriorate.
  8. The metabolic process in the body is interrupted due to lack of nutrients and minerals (the bones most lack calcium).

In addition, the following people belong to the risk group:

Knee joint inflammation with arthropathy
  • All athletes
  • Patients aged 50 years old, regardless of gender;
  • Women who have started menopause;
  • Patients with varicose veins;
  • People with genetic disadvantages.

What is the grade of the disease

The pathology in question develops gradually, very slowly. It may not appear at first, and the patient is not in a hurry to see a doctor. However, the pathological process has already begun. If it is not stopped in time, the function of the lower limbs will gradually be lost, resulting in disability.

Therefore, at level 1, the patient may notice leg fatigue even if the load is small. Some restrictions on the mobility of the knee joint are obvious, and a noticeable crunching sound will be heard during exercise.

When the discomfort is mainly in the morning without rest, there will be obvious initial pain. After the patient "dissipated", the discomfort gradually subsided and worsened after exercise. At this stage of disease development, there is no obvious deformation of bone tissue.

At level 2, the pain gets worse. Walking is affected as a result. Sometimes, it is almost impossible for patients to move normally, even after a light load, they need to rest for a long time. As the joint space narrows, osteophytes grow, and pathological fluid accumulates in the joints.

At level 3, pain not only occurs during work and exercise, but also occurs when you are completely rested. The deformity of the knee is very obvious, which makes any movement difficult.

Common symptoms of the disease

Need to pay attention to the general symptoms of knee arthropathy:

  1. pain. It does not appear suddenly, but the mild discomfort can last for several years. More severe pain is caused by trauma.
  2. The knee is deformed (it retains its previous shape).
  3. Fluid in the joint cavity. When the amount exceeds a certain value, a so-called Baker's cyst is formed. A tight elastic object appeared behind the knee. This is most noticeable when the joints are stretched.
  4. If the pathology is in the second and third stages, knee tightness is observed. It is very different from what is observed in healthy people when bending or extending the knee. The sound is harsh and painful. Sometimes crunch can interfere with active movement.
  5. Reduce the normal range of motion of the joints. Usually the patient cannot bend and straighten the affected limb. He was able to bend it at a right angle, and further movement was accompanied by severe pain.
  6. Knee stiffness mainly occurs in the third stage. Sometimes patients can only walk with curved limbs.
  7. The pain worsens when the weather changes.
  8. The cartilage is significantly thinned. Sometimes, in advanced cases, bone exposure will be noticed. X-rays of the knee joint showed a significant accumulation of osteophytes.

Types of joint disease

Depending on the origin, arthropathy is primary (occurring as an independent disease) or secondary-a complication of existing pathology. According to the location, pathology is divided into right, left and bilateral.

Stages of knee arthropathy

According to the characteristics of performance, the following types of diseases can be distinguished.

  1. Osteoarthritis is characterized by chronic and irreversible changes in the joints.
  2. Patellofemoral joint disease develops due to prolonged and intense physical exertion.
  3. Inflammatory arthropathy occurs due to long-term untreated inflammatory processes in the joints.
  4. Dysplastic arthropathy develops due to congenital abnormalities in the structure of the knee joint.
  5. Arthropathy after trauma is the result of frequent injuries to the musculoskeletal system.
  6. Metabolic joint disease is related to gout and other metabolic disorders.
  7. Arthropathy after infection is the result of inadequate treatment of inflammatory lesions.
  8. When the knee is constantly exposed to increased pressure, the static form of the disease is detected.
  9. If the cause of knee joint disease is not determined, experts will talk about idiopathic joint disease.

Disease treatment characteristics

The doctor checks the knee for joint disease

In the initial stages of disease development, rheumatologists and traumatologists participate in treatment. If she goes too far, the patient should consult a surgeon. Finally, in some clinics, there is an arthrologist who specializes in joint diseases.

The scope of treatment depends on the degree of disease progression. If it is possible to eliminate the cause of the relevant pathology at an early stage, then almost permanent recovery can be achieved.

The goal of any treatment is to completely eliminate pain, repair damaged cartilage and increase the active range of motion of the joint.

The course of medication is completely selected by the doctor. Patients should not prescribe these drugs to themselves because they will further damage the joints. The main drug prescriptions are as follows:

Drugs for treating knee joint disease
  1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory tablets or ointments. Their actions are aimed at relieving pain and inflammation in the affected area. Sometimes it may be necessary to inject the joint cavity.
  2. Products to improve blood circulation in the knees. These are muscle relaxants and antispasmodics. The latter can relieve pain well.
  3. A product that repairs articular cartilage and improves normal nutrition in it.

Novocaine blockers help relieve acute pain. The injection can be done from the outside or inside of the joint. The easiest and safest method is to administer from the outside. With correct operation, the pain disappears almost immediately.

Ointments based on powerful non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can also help relieve pain. It should be remembered that you should not use strong drugs for a long time. Any medicine, even the most effective medicine, can have side effects and cause allergic reactions. This means that self-medication is absolutely not allowed for this serious disease.

Conservative treatment may be effective, provided that the disease has not progressed too far. If there is irreversible damage to the joint, surgery is required. Perform the implantation of the metal prosthesis.

Knee replacement for arthropathy

This is currently the only way to restore knee mobility. The disadvantages of these operations are the limited service life of the prosthesis and the high price.

In arthroscopy, all surgical procedures are performed by micropuncture in the joint. During the operation, the affected cartilage fragments, clots, etc. are removed from the joint. In the third stage of the disease, the type of intervention described is ineffective.

To reduce the load, osteotomy around the joint is used. The display is completed when the joint has not been completely destroyed.

In order to unload the joints affected by the degenerative process, canes and orthoses are used.

The duration of treatment for this disease depends on many factors. The course of treatment with chondroprotective agents can be very long-six months or even longer, because their effects appear rather slow. A qualified healthcare professional can determine when to take prescription drugs.

Application of chondroprotective agents in the treatment of arthropathy

To relieve pain, doctors will prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

However, even a new generation of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs cannot prevent the spread of pathological processes. In order to reduce the intensity of joint degeneration and restore its normal mobility, more and more chondroprotective agents are used.

Modern drugs in this group help restore joint tissue. This is because they contain chondroitin. It is a natural component of cartilage. The continuous intake of this group of drugs helps to restore it and improve health.

Despite the wide variety of medicines offered, only a doctor can determine which medicine is suitable for the patient. The injection of chondroprotective agent is not for everyone to see, the medicine itself is diluted with a special solvent.

If the patient follows the rules of a balanced diet and takes other medications to support the joints, it is an indication of taking dietary supplements.

The role of exercise therapy and physical therapy in the treatment of knee joint disease

According to the described pathology, the patient is absolutely prohibited from bedridden lifestyle. Physical activity for any disease of the musculoskeletal system is necessary for all types of patients. Of course, it must be medicated; any exercise must be carried out under the supervision of a doctor.

Knee massage to treat arthropathy

For each patient, a traumatologist or rehabilitation therapist will individually select special exercises. There is no need to think that the different sets of classes that can be found on the Internet will suit all patients without exception.

For some people, they may be really useful, while for others, they can cause a lot of harm. All loads should be gentle, designed to restore the function of the affected joints in the fastest and most complete way.

At home, it is recommended to do a simple exercise: when lying down, raise your leg, hold it for a few minutes, and then put it down. It is harmless and can be performed even for patients in the third stage. Under the supervision of a doctor, perform exercises to stretch the joint capsule. But if it causes pain, it must be stopped immediately.

Physical therapy methods to treat diseases include:

Knee physiotherapy
  • Massage (massage is strictly prohibited without a doctor's certificate);
  • Manual therapy (should be as gentle as possible to avoid discomfort);
  • Medical laser treatment;
  • The effect of using the best needle on the reflection point;
  • Hyperthermia or cold therapy (again, you do not need to perform heat treatment at home);
  • Magnetic field treatment
  • Vocalize
  • Electrophoresis
  • Paraffin therapy
  • Ozokerite treatment;
  • Moxibustion with wormwood.

Nutrition for arthritis

Proper nutrition is the basis for successful treatment of degenerative diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Due to improper diet, patients may gain weight. Lack of vitamins and trace elements will aggravate the pathological process.

All people with knee joint disease should increase the amount of foods rich in vitamins and minerals in their daily diet.

Nutritionists recommend close monitoring of the calorie content of foods. Fasting or extreme dieting is strictly prohibited. They will cause harm and will gain more weight.

The breakfast must be balanced. You need to eat at least five times a day. For snacks, fruit and bread are recommended.

The following food and dishes are not included:

Prohibited drinks for knee joint disease
  • Sweet soda
  • Fatty meal
  • Semi-finished products
  • spices;
  • Dishes containing flavor and odor enhancers;
  • Fat
  • Fried food;
  • Chinese cabbage;
  • Tomatoes and sweet peppers;
  • Oranges, lemons;
  • chocolate;
  • Bananas, grapes (they are high in calories).

Aspic and jelly are very useful. They contain a lot of collagen, so the bones are restored. Frozen meat is made to reduce the fat content, so its calorie content will be reduced.

The source of protein for people with osteoarthritis can be dairy products-cheese, cottage cheese or kefir. Eating beans is very useful. Be sure to include nuts in your diet.

It is necessary to comply with the drinking regime. If there is no related kidney disease, it is recommended to drink about 2 liters of water.

About alternative treatment of disease

It should be remembered that traditional methods cannot replace the effective methods of official medicine. Therefore, they should be used for complex treatments. There is no other treatment for this serious disease.

To relieve knee swelling, use regular soda. The fabric is moistened with soda water and wrapped around the knee. Above, in order to enhance the thermal insulation effect, it is recommended to attach a plastic bag. Keep the prepared dressing overnight.

Compress the knee joint

A similar compression is made by adding vinegar. While compressing, it is necessary to take acetylsalicylic acid tablets.

Burdock in the treatment of knee joint disease

Burdock leaves are very useful for knees. Before applying the leaves, it is recommended to lubricate the knees with vegetable oil. It is necessary to have several layers of leaves.

All of these are wrapped in a plastic bag. Compression with birch leaves is made in the same way.

Medical bile can relieve inflammation, swelling and pain very well. It is used as a hot compress at night. Bile has almost no side effects.

Treat the patient with honey if he is not allergic to it. After heating the painful joints with a heating pad, apply honey to lubricate and gently massage. After that, stick the burdock leaf on the knee.

Prevent knee joint disease

Preventing diseases is much easier than curing them. Preventive measures include:

Calcium-containing products for knee joint disease
  • Use sufficient protein, vitamins and calcium to provide high-quality and balanced nutrition;
  • Eradicate bad habits;
  • Fight against overweight
  • Normalization of physical activity;
  • Prevent joint damage during sports or heavy physical work.

When the first symptoms of a problem appear, it is important to see a doctor immediately. In the clinic consultation, you can find a doctor who treats knee joint disease. It is recommended to conduct a comprehensive medical examination to find out the cause of the development of the disease.

Knee osteoarthritis is a serious disease: if it is ignored, there is a risk of disability and complete inability to move. To prevent this, you need to treat the affected joint properly. Treatment measures started early can help almost complete relief of this pathology and help maintain a high level of quality of life.