Osteoarthrosis of the knee joint (also called gonarthrosis) may appear suddenly, while at first the symptoms will not be very pronounced. The slightest manifestations of such an ailment should be paid attention to quickly cure the disease and recover.
This chronic disease affects the cartilage of the knee. In this case, the mobility of the leg is noticeably impaired. And with a neglected form, it can even lead to complete immobilization of the joint. Therefore, you need to deal with the disease seriously and in all possible ways.
Despite the fact that osteoarthritis of the knee appears incomprehensibly due to any specific reasons, there are risk groups.
- patients who have poor heredity. So, such an ailment as generalized osteoarthritis can be transmitted through the maternal line;
- adults over 30 years old are often affected by this disease. The fact is that by this age the joints become more sensitive to serious physical exertion. And after the damage that happened once, the recovery period will last a very long time. Women often need treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is due to the development of menopause.
- Patients with a large body weight are also at risk. Indeed, overweight is an inevitable injury to the hip and knee joints.
- Athletes most often suffer from knee osteoarthritis. The treatment of this disease usually awaits hockey players, soccer players and other players where the legs play a major role.
- Finally, patients with leg injuries are prone to osteoarthritis. Over 40% of cases are due to various injuries.
The true causes of osteoarthritis are still a mystery. Experts suggest that the disease occurs as a result of certain external and internal factors.
If you know the symptoms of the disease and begin to treat it at the first stages of its development, you can quickly and quickly get rid of it. An important point here is the ability to “listen” to your body. In this case, you need to carefully pay attention to all the smallest changes.
Typical symptoms that are inherent in knee osteoarthritis:
- The appearance of a crunch in the legs. Especially often it manifests itself during walking;
- After a long stay in one position (sitting, lying) there is a “stiffness” of movements, the knees begin to bend poorly;
- With physical exertion on the knee joints, pain begins to appear, and they are constantly amplified;
- A swelling appears in the area of the diseased joint;
- Another symptom of the disease is the appearance of lameness. At the same time, a person tries to “take care” of his leg and take care of it.
Symptoms such as crunching in the knee area must be correctly differentiated. And healthy joints can “crunch”. The reason for their behavior can be either excessive human activity, or weaknesses in ligaments. The so-called “soft crunch” does not threaten anything serious for a person, it does not cause pain either.
All other symptoms of the disease should be paid attention to. And at the slightest suspicion, you should immediately go to a specialist.
After all, osteoarthrosis of the knee joint of the first degree (initial) can lead to an aggravation of the situation. It will develop into a problem of 2, and there are 3 degrees.
Types of disease
Today, there are 2 main types of knee osteoarthritis:
- Primary, which appears due to poor heredity or develops with age-related changes in the body. Such a disease occurs “on its own”;
- Secondary, which appeared due to harmful effects on the joint.
The complexity and severity of the disease distinguishes several of its degrees:
There is osteoarthrosis of the knee joint of 1 degree.
This is the initial stage of the development of the problem. The articular cartilage begins to thin and loses elasticity. This is due to the appearance of small cracks.
For a patient, stage 1 is the easiest option, which does not cause any particular inconvenience or problems. However, over time, it can develop into a more serious disease, which will have to be treated for a long and difficult time.
Symptoms of the first degree of the disease are minor pain in the knees. And often a person attributes these feelings to fatigue. If additionally there is also a crunch when walking and difficult physical exertion, then going to the doctor is already a necessity.
The specialist will prescribe the correct and effective treatment. Usually, at the initial stage of the development of a problem, it comes down to reducing body weight, eliminating pain with medication, and also provides massage and therapeutic exercises.
With an aggravation of the situation, knee osteoarthrosis of the 2nd degree develops.
Here the symptoms are manifested more clearly. The pain occurs not only in the morning, but also in the daytime, intensifying in the evening. Even at rest, pain is felt in the leg. Walking becomes slow. With the occurrence of edema and joint deformation, there is reason for concern. Perhaps an infectious reaction develops in the knee.
In order to treat this stage of the disease, vasodilator drugs are necessarily prescribed. A course of physiotherapy is required. The doctor will advise you to keep your foot at rest, walk less, and if necessary, move better on a cane or use crutches. Exercise classes will also be required. All exercises will be aimed at strengthening the muscles of the legs.
At this stage, there is still the opportunity to return a full life to the patient. The leg can again become healthy if you follow all the recommendations of a doctor. Otherwise, the disease will continue to develop and the person may become disabled.
Grade 3 of knee osteoarthritis is a borderline condition with disability.
At this stage, the symptoms are especially pronounced. Unbearable pain appears, the crunch is heard even to people around, the legs noticeably bend. It is simply not possible to bend or straighten a diseased limb. The deposition of salts in the knee joint reaches a maximum. They “replace” cartilage with themselves.
In connection with the aggravation of the problem, the doctor prescribes not only medications and physiotherapy, but also surgery. The operation is aimed at removing all elements that have been subjected to deformation, and growths are removed. If necessary, prosthetics of the entire knee joint is even possible.
To make a diagnosis of osteoarthritis, the doctor must examine the medical history. Laboratory tests will be required. If necessary, an x-ray is taken. And if the diagnosis is confirmed, then the doctor prescribes a comprehensive treatment with a variety of means aimed at returning the joints to their functions:
Use of chondroprotectors
Mandatory prescribe drugs that can improve metabolic processes directly in the cartilage. Often it is required to take such medications for a long time, for even several years.
The effect of such medications can be seen in a few months. Such drugs are available either as tablets or as injections.
The doctor also prescribes anti-inflammatory drugs. With their help, you can remove pain, reduce swelling. Modern medicines of this type do not even cause side effects and can be tolerated by patients with gastrointestinal tract problems.
Anti-inflammatory drugs can be not only in the form of tablets or capsules. Often these are creams and gels, which, together with physiotherapy procedures, can significantly reduce the amount of medication used inside.
If there is also fluid in the joint, the introduction of corticosteroid drugs will be required. They are available as injections. They will have to be done once a year, more often than not.
In addition to medications, special recovery and wellness procedures are mandatory:
- Exercise therapy will help strengthen muscles. Usually, all exercises are performed in the “lying” position. They must be appointed only if there are no contraindications to them. Gymnastics takes place only under the supervision of a physiotherapist.
- Manual therapy will restore the function of joints, muscles and bones of the knee joint.
- Massage is another procedure on the way to recovery from osteoarthrosis of the knee joint. With it, you can improve blood flow to a sore spot. Such therapy is carried out when the disease is not in an acute stage.
You can cure such a problem with the knee joint with folk remedies that have been tested for centuries. They are especially effective for a disease of the 1st degree. In the subsequent stages, this is only an auxiliary tool in the complex of basic therapy. You can resort to the use of decoctions, baths, ointments and rubbing, which have an anti-inflammatory effect and saturate the entire body with vitamins.
Folk recipes are considered such simple preparations:
- Onion peel must be boiled in a liter of water until it becomes soft. It is necessary to drink half a glass 30 minutes before eating.
- You can steam dandelion leaves for exactly 10 minutes. Such a decoction should also be consumed half an hour before meals.
- It is possible to apply compresses to a sore knee. For this, fresh horseradish is rubbed, which is subsequently poured with warm water. Such a tool is brought to a boil. The resulting composition is applied to cheesecloth, then applied to a sore spot.
- There is ointment, it is prepared according to an old recipe from 200 g of mustard and the same amount of salt. A small amount of paraffin is added there until the consistency is creamy. The ointment is applied at night and rubbed until it is completely absorbed into the knee joint.
Effective folk remedies are herbal teas, which you need to drink constantly. A broth of rose hips and gooseberries has an excellent effect on the body.
You will have to change your diet with this disease.
Here are some important tips:
- Diet should exclude “invisible” fats. They are contained in sausages, confectionery.
- The meat should be lean and not fried.
- Such a healthy diet should contain dairy products. It is advisable that they be fat free.
- You need to eat a maximum of vegetables, cereals, fruits and a variety of berries.
- Finally, the diet involves giving up sugar.
Only an effective combination of all treatment methods will help patients cope with the problem of knee osteoarthritis. But at the same time, you should always consult with your doctor, and not try different means on your own.