Arthrosis of the knee joint is progressive. With the development of the disease, the cartilage first suffers, and then the bone elements take part in the destructive process. High physical activity, physical inactivity, metabolic disorders lead to the cause of the problem.
As the disease develops, there is a risk of ankylosis, which is accompanied by a decrease in motor activity of the joint.
Characteristics of the disease
Osteoarthritis of the knee joint is accompanied by deformation and destruction of cartilage. The pathology is characterized by a chronic degenerative nature and causes pain of varying intensity.
It provokes a complete loss of motor activity and loss of functionality. According to ICD-10, the disease is coded as follows: M17. Gonarthrosis (arthrosis of the knee joint).
Pathologies are more susceptible to women than men. At the same time, the risk of arthrosis is much higher in people with varicose veins and overweight. This is why the disease is more common in obese women over 40 years old. The elderly are also affected. In young people, arthrosis occurs as a result of injuries that occur during physical work or sports activities.
Arthrosis should be distinguished from arthritis, which is an inflammatory disease caused by disorders in the immune system. Infectious diseases also lead to the development of arthritis.
The photo shows the clinical picture of arthrosis
Arthrosis of the knee joint has 2 main variants - primary and secondary. In the first case, the disease appears in childhood and is caused by a violation of the development of joint surfaces or ligaments.
In this situation, the joint is faced with an increased load, which leads to degenerative changes. The secondary form of arthrosis is associated with injuries and other diseases.
Pathology can be unilateral or bilateral. In the first case, the cause of the disease is most often injuries. The bilateral form of the pathology is usually a consequence of obesity.
There are several stages in the development of arthrosis of the knee joint. The earlier the disease is detected, the easier it is to deal with it.
The main stages of the disease include the following:
- 1 degree- at this stage, people rarely go to the doctor. They feel slight discomfort in the right or left knee, which occurs after a long walk. The pain syndrome occurs only after increased physical effort or strong bending and extension of the knee. During radiography, it is possible to observe a slight narrowing of the joint space and the appearance of bony processes in the structure of the joints. Pathology is discovered accidentally during other examinations. At this stage, conservative therapy is sufficient.
- 2 degree- characterized by more obvious symptoms of the disease that are difficult to ignore. Pain in the knee is constantly felt. It is especially intense in the morning and evening. Even in a calm state, the discomfort does not go away. The person's gait slows down, motor activity is disturbed, movements in the knee are accompanied by creaking. There is a risk of complications that are accompanied by the penetration of a piece of bone or cartilage into the joint cavity. This causes an increase in pain and loss of motor activity. When palpating the knee, there is a risk of severe pain and visible deformity of the joint. Inflammatory processes often develop. In such a situation, the knee swells. When taking X-rays, you can see a strong narrowing of the joint space, the presence of osteophytes, and curvature of the bones. In such a situation, the patient needs complex treatment. In some cases, it is not possible without surgery.
- 3 degree- represents a neglected form of pathology. At this stage, the person becomes permanently disabled. The patient has constant knee pain, impaired motor activity. With every movement, the knee squeaks violently. The joint is characterized by pronounced deformation, increases in size due to fluid accumulation and almost completely loses mobility. During radiography, it is possible to see the destruction of the ligament apparatus and meniscus, abrasion of the cartilage and increase in the size of the connective tissue. Partial fusion of the joints may also be observed. To solve the problem, the affected joint is changed to an artificial one.
In most cases, patients go to the doctor in the second stage of arthrosis. This is typical for older people who are used to age-related changes.
Causes of osteoarthritis of the knee joint
The main cause of osteoarthritis is knee injury. Damage can be caused by exercise, arthritis, or other factors.
The main causes of osteoarthritis of the knee include the following:
- Knee inflammation - provoking factors can be arthritis, bursitis and other factors.
- Damage to the meniscus - in the absence of treatment of such a pathology, arthrosis often develops.
- Osteochondropathy of the knee.
- Physical factors - heavy sports, excess weight, etc.
- Bone fractures, post-traumatic syndrome.
- Meniscus lesion operations, arthroscopy, prolonged blockades with the use of hormones.
- Pathologies that change the load on the knee. These include flat feet, lesions of the lower back, arthrosis. Hip dysplasia also falls into this category.
Symptoms and signs
The main manifestations of the disease include the following:
- Pain – the most common is mechanical discomfort, which is relieved by painkillers. It can be dull, painful, sharp.
- Crackling while moving.
- Impaired joint mobility.
- Decreased motor activity.
- Weakness of the muscles of the limbs.
- Increase in local temperature in the knee area.
- Gait disorder, which is accompanied by lameness of the legs.
- Violation of stability.
- Knee jamming.
Before starting the treatment of gonarthrosis, it is necessary to undergo a thorough examination.
If you suspect gonarthrosis, you should consult an orthopedic traumatologist. The specialist examines and interviews the patient, assessing the condition of the joint and the range of motion in it.
To identify the pathology, conduct such studies:
- M. R. I. With the help of the procedure, it is possible to study the affected area by obtaining a three-dimensional image. Manipulation shows the vasculature and nerve fibers.
- Radiography. The procedure allows you to identify cracks, depressions, bone processes.
What is dangerous knee arthrosis
The consequences of arthrosis include inflammation of the joints, atrophic changes in muscle tissue and ligaments, and disturbances in walking. There is also a risk of deformity of the lower limb.
In severe situations, the disease causes complete cartilage degeneration and deformation of bone structures. As a result, the mobility of the limbs decreases, and the person becomes disabled.
Prevention and prognosis
To avoid knee arthrosis, you must adhere to the following recommendations:
- eat properly - the menu should contain a lot of vitamins, minerals, proteins;
- get rid of bad habits;
- normalize weight;
- engage in sports, walking or exercise bikes, perform medical complexes;
- avoid injury, protect your legs with knee pads.
The pathology is suitable for therapy, because thinning of the cartilage tissue is observed only in the third stage. The prognosis is quite favorable.
If therapy is not started on time, there is a risk of disability. Usually, the group is assigned the third degree of gonarthrosis. As for military service, they are released from it with the development of a deforming form of the disease.
Osteoarthritis of the knee joint is a serious pathology that leads to negative health consequences. In order to deal with the problem, you need to consult a doctor on time. The specialist will conduct the necessary studies and select the appropriate therapy.