Arthrosis is the most common of all musculoskeletal disorders. The knees are especially vulnerable to them as they carry most of the load. Let’s take a closer look at what is knee arthrosis and how to treat this disease.
Arthritis of the knee joints is a pathology associated with the development of degenerative-dystrophic processes in the cartilage tissue of these joints. As the disease progresses, the disease affects not only the cartilage itself but also other tissues, including the ligaments and periarticular muscles, and over time, processes can develop that contribute to bone destruction.
As we age, the body experiences difficulty with tissue malnutrition and accelerated wear. Under the influence of mechanical, biochemical and other factors, the cartilage tissue begins to gradually deteriorate, which further develops into arthrosis of the right knee joint or left joint.
The frequency of diagnosis of pathology increases with age. Women are particularly prone to develop gonarthrosis due to their body characteristics and hormonal changes.
Athletes and people whose work involves lifting weights and constant strain on their legs are also at risk.
In general, the following risk groups can be distinguished:
When you enter a risk group, you should regularly monitor the condition of your joints and take preventative measures.
If we talk about the specific causes of dystrophic processes in cartilage tissue, they are related to a person's daily life in many ways. Existing health problems also play a role.
The main causes of gonarthrosis are:
If you do not take action to prevent these causes from being affected, the cost of such careless treatment of your health will be a multiple problem for the musculoskeletal system and other body systems.
At first, the disease is asymptomatic or anxiety occurs only occasionally. Most of the time, the knees start to hurt after a long stay or an intense day at work. Because such signs are not annoying and disappear completely after rest, one does not immediately notice that they have serious health problems.
Discomfort gradually increases, severe pain occurs. They are painful in nature, but can be sharp and sudden when moving. As the disease progresses, the discomfort increases.
Other symptoms of gonarthrosis include:
Most often, the pursuit of pain relief is the main stimulating factor in referring a person to a clinic. The sooner you do this, the better your chances of stopping the pathological process. Otherwise, the changes will become irreversible and the problem cannot be solved by conservative methods.
Elevated temperatures may be observed in some cases. This phenomenon is rarely observed, indicating an intense inflammatory process. The cause of the infection can be, for example, if you have recently had a foot injury.
In medical practice, the disease has a special classification.
There are the following types of knee arthrosis:
It is also worth distinguishing between periarthrosis. This disease affects the muscles and ligament devices that cause the joint to move.
Another important category is knee hyperarthrosis. This is the name of the progressive degenerative processes of cartilage. There is pronounced deforming gonarthrosis in the final stages. It is worth talking in more detail about the stages of pathology development.
There are four main stages of knee arthrosis. Each is distinguished by a more pronounced manifestation of the disease and the emergence of new negative processes.
If the first stage of gonarthrosis can be completely eliminated by gentle methods and limb health can be completely restored, the third to fourth stages are irreversible and practically unsuitable with conservative treatment. It is therefore important that you seek help from a health care facility as soon as possible.
As for the consequences of gonarthrosis, there are initially no particular risks to human health if appropriate measures are taken in a timely manner. Of course, knee inflammation causes some discomfort, but the symptoms and the dystrophic process itself can still be eliminated.
The more the patient ignores the problem, the more neglected it becomes. In the second stage, the cartilage begins to deteriorate and can hardly be restored. Severe pain disrupts a person’s normal lifestyle, exerting psychological pressure.
The main consequences of progressive gonarthrosis are:
The main question is: is it possible to go with knee arthrosis? Movement contributes to the healing of the whole body, but this rule only works if the disease is detected early.
In later stages, movement can only aggravate the destructive process, so it is recommended for the patient to go to bed and wear a special orthosis. With deformation and obstruction of the mobility of the legs, the gait is impaired, i. e. the person becomes disabled. This is the main risk of developing gonarthrosis.
To prevent such complications and to avoid disability, you should seek help immediately. An orthopedic surgeon can give advice on treating gonarthrosis.
The success of further treatment depends largely on the level of detail of the diagnosis, so it is not necessary to disregard the specialist's instructions regarding the need to perform certain test procedures.
A comprehensive diagnosis of arthrosis can include the following methods:
To get rid of gonarthrosis and its consequences, you need to approach the problem correctly. Only the treating physician can select the most effective treatment in each case.
Various medicines as well as folk methods are most commonly used. Some techniques closely overlap, such as various compressions.
If done correctly, it can significantly weaken the manifestations of the disease and restore the health of your feet to some extent. Under no circumstances should you hesitate to treat, otherwise it cannot be done without drastic measures.
The first thing to start treatment with is drug therapy. It can be divided into several areas, depending on the goals you want to achieve:
Only the treating physician has the right to prescribe and correct drug therapy for knee arthrosis. The use of drugs alone is not desirable, only the use of vitamin supplements and some chondroprotectants is allowed.
Lifestyle changes, especially eating habits, are an important part of the treatment process. Much depends on the severity of the disease, for example, cycling at the beginning of development can be beneficial and can stimulate healing processes.
However, when problems with bending-extending movements occur, such a load can only worsen the patient’s condition and exacerbate destructive processes.
Activity is usually encouraged because exercise contributes to the treatment of many diseases of the musculoskeletal system. At the same time, it is extremely important to follow a rest regimen, avoid overloading your legs, and avoid sudden movements.
In particular, the question of whether it is possible to run with knee arthrosis is being investigated. It is better to replace this type of physical activity with fast walking.
When talking about nutrition, the contraindications to gonarthrosis are related to alcohol and fast food intake. It is especially important to exclude fatty and salty foods.
The diet should be as close to healthy as possible, meaning it should include vegetables and fruits, whole grains, milk and cheese, lean meat and fish. Products that help to restore hyaline cartilage are very useful: seafood, offal, jelly, apples, algae, etc.
Physiotherapy is a mandatory part of treatment. In addition, modern medicine actively uses a variety of manual and non-traditional methods of influencing the body. It is advisable to pay attention to such procedures.
If we take a closer look at treatment with physical exercise, it should first be noted that the standards for permissible loads are set by a professional. It is best to take part in group movement therapy sessions. Arthrosis of the knee joint is included in the mandatory program, including postoperative rehabilitation.
Highlight the main directions of gonarthrosis:
Physical activity for knee arthrosis should be regular and rigorously dosed. If you overload your feet or miss hours, there will be no beneficial effect. It is also important to choose exercises that are appropriate for your situation. Check this point in advance with your curator, for example, to see if it is possible to squat with arthrosis for you.
In addition, home treatment of knee arthrosis is closely related to the use of traditional medicine recipes. It is worth remembering that before using the self-prepared medicine, you should make sure that there are no allergies and other contraindications, and consult your doctor.
Otherwise, the effect may be reversed or the effect of home remedies may increase the effect of pharmacy medications excessively. Nevertheless, traditional methods are still in demand as they cost much less than most purchased drugs.
The most commonly used treatments for gonarthrosis are:
Most patients are concerned with the question: can knee arthrosis be cured once it has progressed to stages 2-3? Unfortunately, the health of the cartilage liner cannot be restored, but there is still a way out of the situation.
If you suffer from advanced arthrosis of the knee joint, treatment options are divided into surgery and conservative complementary techniques. If the cartilage is completely worn out, only one operation can restore the functions of the injured limb.
The best solution is to use endoprostheses. In this case, the damaged elements of the joint are partially or completely removed, and special prostheses are placed in place with the help of screws and surgical cement. Over time, the bone tissue grows and fully absorbs all the necessary loads.
Because arthrosis of the knee joints cannot always be treated this way, the arthrodesis method is used as an alternative to reduce pain and prevent further limb deformity.
In the first case, if the motor ability of the foot is restored to its maximum, the opposite effect to arthrodesis appears - the limb is fixed in a certain position, and after the bone is incised, the elements merge. Thus, movement will only be available in one direction.
It is said to prevent osteoarthritis of the knee joint in order to prevent the development of the disease.
To do this, follow these guidelines:
If you have a first problem, see your doctor so that you can start fighting the disease in time.