This disease is a chain of degenerative processes, leading to changes in cartilage joint destruction and consequent problems with forming the joint structure the bones.
“Sore knee” – women age 40 and older often complain about this problem, but complaining is not as it should be, and friends or relatives. “Calcination” and called this condition, not knowing that it actually is a disease called gonarthrosis (osteoarthritis of the knee) is an issue serious enough, not deserving to be ignored in order to avoid loss of mobility with the subsequent acquisition of disability.
With unclear reasons, but clearly the factors
The exact reasons for human osteoarthritis affects the knee joint, unclear, experts studied only factors that make the development of this disease probable, in accordance with which the disease is classified into primary and secondary forms.
The primary lesion is usually diagnosed in people in the elderly, having health problems, except for violations of metabolic processes in the body. In addition, the primary form can develop on the background:
- excess weight and obesity;
- long-term use of hormonal drugs;
- anomalies of the structure of cartilage and bone tissue;
- pathologies of muscles and ligaments;
- genetic predisposition.
Secondary osteoarthritis has a more explicit reasons and factors of occurrence.
- received joint injuries – sprains, contusions, fractures;
- experienced surgery on the knee;
- various joint diseases – arthritis, inflammation, tumors;
- hormonal disturbances age associated with failure of metabolic processes;
- exceeding the allowable physical load on the knee, or excessive intensity exercise;
- the presence of diseases which deteriorate the tone of the muscles occur muscle spasms or stiffness.
Most often osteoarthritis of the knee joint occurs due to the mechanical factor, i.e. obtaining articular cartilage microtrauma and to begin the process of degeneration of its tissues. As the surface of the cartilage becomes uneven, the surface of the bones also changes because of changes of load distribution. Simultaneously, there is a violation of metabolic processes in the cartilage, the loss of their “building materials” that leads to joint destruction.
From “not much” to “too late”
Disease of the knee joint manifests itself by characteristic symptoms, varying in intensity and severity, vary depending on the stage of osteoarthritis where the patient is located.
The first stage of the lesion characterized by recurrent mild pain – often people do not pay attention to them, explaining his state of fatigue, a long walk and other similar reasons. Sometimes after stress on the knees together with pain evident swelling of the joint (minor); the deformation of the structure is small and visually inconspicuous.
In the second stage of the disease the symptoms and signs of the first stage to develop and strengthen. The pain becomes more strong and intense, she’s not leaving for a long time after the cessation of activity. Movements of the knee are accompanied by a crunching, over time, it becomes difficult to bend. At this stage, even without radiographs visible deformity of the joint.
Not seen in a timely manner, the disease progresses to the third stage, the most severe and dangerous where damage to joint structures often become irreversible. In the third degree of osteoarthritis knee pain almost does not pass, does not leave man nothing to do with movement or at rest (in these cases the limb can respond to a change in the weather). Due to the restriction of joint mobility is impaired gait, deformity of the knee articular structures are noticeable and strong.
Summarizing, we can say that the main manifestations of osteoarthritis – destruction of the knee joint (as well as his “nearest relative” of hip – destruction of the hip joint) pain and problems with mobility, and in the later stages and even gait disturbance. As the problem of the hip, knee and lose the ability to develop for many months, gradually exposing itself.
In terms of the symptoms of gonarthrosis is different from other knee problems the fact that pain has a “starter” character, i.e., unpleasant sensations appear shortly after release from dormancy, literally “sweep” the limb, and after several movements or steps gradually subsiding, returning again to the completion of the action. This happens due to the fact that during the daily activity of the patient’s knee joint is experiencing the ever-increasing load.
From the point of view of diagnostic studies the clinical picture of the disease manifested by the presence of osteophytes – outgrowth of bony tissue at the edges of the surfaces forming the joint bones. Osteophytes visible on radiographs, rubbing against the soft cartilage, penetrates them, provoking an even greater amount of destruction and the beginning of the inflammatory process in the membranes of the joint (synovitis).
And more reasons to pay attention to the knee give the symptoms of inflammation:
- redness of the skin over a sore portion of a limb;
- swelling of the knee joint;
- the local increase in temperature;
- crunching on palpation of the joint.
Disease, treatment of which was started in the 1-2 stages of development, lends itself to better effect than a defeat, reached 3rd stage. It is therefore important to pay attention to the first, barely perceptible discomfort in the knee in order to go to the doctor and start therapy.
Pain from immobility and complications
Whatever the reasons for the defeat of the knee joint osteoarthritis, treatment of this disease will be long, complex, requires considerable patience from the patient. The effectiveness of treatment and duration of positive result will depend on how quickly the patient asked for help – in the early stages of gonarthrosis of the knee joint can be stopped before serious destructive consequences with a noticeable improvement in the quality of life.
A set of activities which has an impact on the disease, aims to fulfill the following objectives:
- eliminate the pain;
- to relieve muscle tension and improve muscle tone;
- to return joint mobility;
- to promote regeneration of cartilage tissue;
- to reduce the inflammatory process;
- to stimulate blood flow to the joint (true for knee and hip);
- to prevent the development of complications.
Although one hundred percent effective medicines for the treatment of osteoarthritis does not exist, combinations of different drugs and procedures in the early stages of the disease may be enough to slow its progression and almost complete recovery from pain.
In the list of means used for treatment of lesions of the knee (and in some cases hip) joint, are:
- medications (painkillers, NSVP, hormones, chondroprotectors);
- non-pharmacological methods (physiotherapy, exercise therapy);
- traditional medicine.
Means the painkillers have drug therapy perhaps the greatest value – because of these drugs eliminates the pain syndrome accompanying joint damage. The same can be said about NSVP – steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which also relieve pain, but at the same time struggling with inflammatory processes in the articular structures. Analgesics and NSVP – the first stage of the onset of the symptoms of osteoarthritis, but only the symptoms, not the defeat.
But if painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications is too little, the patient can be prescribed corticosteroids – potent drugs based on hormones that perform the same functions, but in the later stages of the disease and with a greater likelihood of side effects.
The acceptance of chondroprotectors allows you to “deliver” to the affected joint building material, restoring the cartilage tissue, thereby improving mobility of limbs and slowing the progression of the disease.
Physiotherapy and therapeutic physical training are assigned patients to ensure that in addition to drug therapy to help reduce pain and also relieve inflammation, muscle spasms and tension. Such procedures generally improving the mood of patients, allow you to lose weight and speed up the process of returning to a healthy life. Can be used methods such as magnetic and laser therapy, ultrasound, hydrogen sulfide baths, massage, exercise therapy.
Advanced therapy of gonarthrosis includes compliance with the rather strict rules of the diet, avoiding harmful habits, the implementation of reasonable sports exercises, periodic passage SANATORNO-resort treatment.
In cases where the disease was initiated too late to help, only surgery.
During the surgery is conducted:
- joint replacement – installation of ceramic, plastic or metal prosthetic joint;
- arthroscopic, debridement – removal of the affected structure collapsed in the course of the disease particles and cartilage.
Surgery as a means of influencing a disease in modern medicine is a very effective tool. Would it be possible to restore the sick limbs mobility, to eliminate sources of inflammation in joints and relieve pain, that is, to ensure that the patient’s normal functioning, and for quite a long time (if not forever).
With all due respect to the traditional therapy of osteoarthritis (coxarthrosis as to destruction of the hip joint), traditional medicine and its tools also provide the patient is strong enough and long-lasting positive effects. Rubbing and ointment against the pain, herbal infusions and decoctions against inflammation, a variety of tools to compress, heat applications and massage – all this Arsenal of tools can be used in addition to formal treatment, unless the attending says otherwise.
Articulate the defeat of the tribe can’t be completely cured, even early treatment of gonarthrosis does not guarantee that the patient will be able to use its limb as before the illness. However, this is not a reason to ignore your body’s signals, especially from the “my knees hurt” to “can’t walk without a cane” often takes several months the progression of the disease.