osteoarthritis of the knee

Pain in osteoarthritis of the knee

Most often, the disease occurs in elderly patients (especially women). Pain in the joints with gonarthrosis is due to dystrophic changes in the cartilage covering the intra-articular surfaces of the bones. First, blood circulation in the vessels that supply the cartilage deteriorates. Then the cartilaginous coating begins to thin, completely erased. The bones in the knee joint are exposed. As a result, when walking, they rub against each other, severe pain occurs.

Over the years, bone outgrowths begin to appear in the joint. They provoke the development of deformations, the leg is bent.

Causes of gonarthrosis

Gonarthrosis of the knee joint occurs for various reasons. It is customary to distinguish two of its forms:

  • primary;
  • secondary.

Primary gonarthrosis usually develops in older people. Its occurrence is due to:

  • violations of metabolic processes;
  • Obesity;
  • hereditary predisposition;
  • take hormonal drugs.

The primary form affects two knee joints at the same time and is called bilateral gonarthrosis. But there are cases when the inflammatory process first covers one knee, and only after a few years goes to the second.

Secondary gonarthrosis, on the other hand, is always unilateral. It is called:

  • heavy physical work and sports that put stress on the right or left knee joint;
  • trauma (ligament tear, dislocation, hemorrhage in the knee joint cavity, meniscus damage, intra-articular fracture, etc. ).
  • operations on the knee joint;
  • joint inflammation/swelling.

Symptoms of gonarthrosis

The most common symptoms of gonarthrosis of the knee joints include:

  • severe pain in the knee when moving;
  • dysfunction of the knee;
  • swelling in the knee joint;
  • lameness
  • joint stiffness;
  • Instability in the affected joint.

Deformation (curvature) of the leg is also characteristic of the later stages of the disease.

In most cases, gonarthrosis develops slowly, going through four consecutive stages.

First-degree gonarthrosis of the knee joint is characterized by the following features:

  • Unexpressed pain in knee when climbing stairs/stairs, when doing squats.
  • "Starting" pain at the beginning of the movement.
  • restriction of mobility.
  • Disappearance of discomfort when the patient "diverges".
  • Pain in the knee after heavy physical exertion.
  • The knee looks healthy or slightly swollen.
  • There may be manifestations of synovitis (inflammation of the inner lining, due to which fluid begins to form in the joint).

Bilateral knee osteoarthritis of the second degree has the following symptoms:

  • The pain intensifies.
  • The symptoms increase sharply when bending knees and walking.
  • The pain is localized on the inside of the knees and gradually disappears with rest.
  • crunching knees.
  • The joint expands, fluid begins to accumulate in it (synovitis).
  • Intra-articular fluid can fill the back of the knee at the back of the joint (Baker's cyst).
  • Individual joint zones feel hot.
  • After a physical warm-up, the stiffness may go away.
  • The shape of the legs in the knee area changes (there is a curvature).

For third-degree gonarthrosis, the following symptoms are characteristic:

  • The pains disturb day and night, at rest and when walking. The patient must look for a position to reduce the severity of the pain symptom.
  • The joint is difficult to relax and bend. He is restricted in movement. The leg cannot be fully extended.
  • An O- or X-shaped deformity of the lower extremities may form.
  • The knee joint increases significantly in size, deforms. There is marked synovitis.
  • The patient's gait becomes unstable, shaky, he has to use a cane / crutches, resorting to outside help during movement.

There is also a fourth degree of gonarthrosis of the knee joints. Clinically, orthopedists refer to the third stage of the disease. It can only be determined by x-rays.

By the fourth degree, the articular surfaces of the bones are so deformed that there is almost no gap between them, without which movement is impossible. The patient is in constant pain.

If you experience similar symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. It is easier to prevent an illness than to deal with the consequences.

Diagnosis of gonarthrosis of the knee joints

The diagnosis of the disease involves questioning the patient, examining the inflamed joint, checking its volume and assessing mobility. If there is a suspicion of gonarthrosis, the orthopedist prescribes instrumental methods:

  • radiography. With gonarthrosis, the x-ray shows narrowing of the cracks, thinning of the bone tissue and its compaction under the cartilage, ossification of the articular cartilage. Perhaps the presence of osteophytes - bone growths running along the edges of the cartilage.
  • Ultrasound diagnosis of the knee joint.
  • arthroscopy. During the study, the surgeon inserts a special microvideo camera connected to the arthroscope through punctures into the joint. An image of all parts of the study area appears on the screen.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It allows assessing the degree of damage to the knee joints.
  • A blood test is an auxiliary diagnostic method and does not always give a complete picture of the clinical picture. The fact is that with gonarthrosis, signs of inflammation in the blood may not be detected.

Treatment of gonarthrosis of the knee joints


In the treatment of gonarthrosis of the knee joint, the following groups of drugs are used:

  • antiphlogistic;
  • Painkiller;
  • Chondoprotectors (ensure the restoration of destroyed cartilage tissue).

The forms of their release are different - ointments, creams, gels, tablets, capsules, intra-articular and intramuscular injections.


In the orthopedic treatment of pathology, special devices are used to minimize the load on diseased joints:

  • orthopedic insoles for shoes
  • Orthotics (special rigid knee pads that limit mobility in a diseased joint),
  • sticks.


Surgical methods are used in the treatment of third-degree gonarthrosis of the knee joint. Indications for endoprosthetics are:

  • uncontrollable pain,
  • Significant functional disorders of the knee and hip joints.

The implantation time is 2-3 hours. Before the prosthesis is installed, the destroyed part of the joint and the back of the kneecap are removed and the leg axis aligned. Tapes are restored as needed. After the endoprosthesis has been inserted, the wound is sewn up.

In the first hours after the operation, the patient does not feel the lower extremities due to the anesthesia. The rehabilitation period is long - 3-4 months.

It is not possible to perform an arthroplasty if the patient has osteoporosis (fragility and brittleness of the bones).

Additional methods of treating gonarthrosis

When osteoarthritis of the knee can be used as supportive treatment methods:

  • manual therapy;
  • Massage;
  • Acupuncture;
  • hirudotherapy;
  • Physical therapy;
  • exercise therapy.

Movement therapy for gonarthrosis

Exercises for gonarthrosis of the knee joint are selected individually. Their regular use allows you to strengthen the muscles surrounding the inflamed joint and improve blood circulation in the area of \u200b\u200bthe pathology. They should be performed in a supine or seated position.

In the first few days, therapeutic exercises for gonarthrosis of the knee joint should not last more than 10 minutes. Gradually, the lesson time will be increased to half an hour. It is important to perform all movements smoothly to ensure that the pain does not increase.

Common exercises include:

  • Raise the straight leg to a height of 15-20 cm from the floor and hold it in this position for the maximum time.
  • Raise the stretched leg to a height of 15-20 cm and gradually lower it to its original position.
  • Bend and straighten the legs while sitting on a chair.

Squats and long walks are contraindicated without prior consultation with an orthopedist.

Features of the treatment of gonarthrosis depending on the degree of the disease

Treatment of first degree gonarthrosis of the knee joint

The first degree of the disease is the simplest. The patient is assigned:

  • Massage.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Physiotherapeutic procedures.

If you are overweight, you need to lose weight. A special diet is followed for this purpose.

Treatment of second degree gonarthrosis of the knee joint

Comprehensive treatment of pathology includes:

  • Do the exercises recommended by the therapist.
  • Taking anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs, chondroprotectors, introducing hyaluronic acid into the joint.
  • Phytotherapeutic procedures (if there is no pronounced inflammatory process).
  • weight normalization.

Treatment of third degree osteoarthritis of the knee

Therapeutic treatment of pathology of the third degree is similar to the measures used in the second stage of the disease. However, in the absence of the expected effect, a surgical method is recommended to the patient.

If we talk about the onset of the third degree, then it is possible to remove part of the damaged cartilage and bone outgrowths. Using an arthroscope, the doctor examines the cavity of the knee joint and examines how pronounced the problem is.

If areas of healthy tissue remain, a corrective osteotomy is indicated. In this operation, the doctor corrects the shape of the bone by breaking it. Then he installs a special plate that allows you to fix the limb in the correct position.

The second surgical method of treatment is endoprosthetics - an operation in which the entire knee joint or its individual parts are replaced with prostheses.

Treatment of gonarthrosis of the knee joints with folk remedies

Folk recipes will help to achieve good results only at stages 1 and 2 of the disease. If the cartilage tissue is destroyed and the joint is severely deformed, they are powerless.

Ficus tincture

The solution is prepared according to the recipe:

  • Skip the ficus leaf through a meat grinder.
  • Pour into a glass bowl.
  • Add 100ml vodka.
  • Close the lid and leave for 3 weeks.
  • Store the prepared liquid in the refrigerator. Rub the joints with tincture once a day for 10 days.

clay compresses

  • Place the blue/red clay in a glass bowl.
  • Dilute with water to the consistency of sour cream.
  • Apply clay to a 1. 5-2 cm thick linen/cotton fabric.
  • Apply to the affected joint.
  • Secure with a bandage and wrap with a towel.
  • Do compresses 2-3 times a day. The duration of treatment is 1. 5 weeks.

Dandelion Tincture

  • Fill a glass bottle with dandelion flowers.
  • Top with triple cologne.
  • close the lid
  • Store in a dark place for a month.
  • After the specified time, strain the tincture. Rub her knees 2 times a day.

Apple cider vinegar for arthritis of the knee

  • Mix 6 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 2 tablespoons of natural honey.
  • Apply the mixture to the joint area.
  • Top with cabbage leaves.
  • Wrap with plastic wrap and a scarf.
  • It is best to put a compress on at night. Remove after the leaves are completely dry. The duration of treatment is about 4 weeks.

Garlic with Celery and Lemon

  • Finely chop 250 g celery, 120 g garlic, 3 lemons, mix. Transfer to a three-liter jar, pour boiling water.
  • Cover with a warm blanket.
  • After cooling, the remedy should be consumed 70 ml before meals, first 1 time per day, after a few days - 2-3 times per day.

Diet for gonarthrosis

The diet for gonarthrosis of the knee joint is aimed at normalizing body weight, fighting obesity and saturating the body with nutrients. If the patient manages to lose weight, the pain becomes less pronounced, since there is less stress on the joints. In this case, you should not starve or resort to the help of mono-diets. The diet must be balanced.

Proteins help repair intra-articular cartilage. Your patient can get lean meat, cheese, cottage cheese, fish, lentils, beans, buckwheat. Useful for gonarthrosis bone broth jelly, as it contains a lot of collagen.

Carbohydrates should be obtained from eating vegetables and fruits. Fats should be predominantly vegetable. A small amount of butter is allowed. Vitamins, especially those of group B, are of great importance for improving well-being. They are found in eggs, legumes, bananas, dairy products, cabbage, nuts and lentils.

Alcohol in gonarthrosis of the knee joints is prohibited. It not only has a negative effect on the body as a whole, but also increases appetite, which is undesirable.

The danger of gonarthrosis

In the case of first and second degree osteoarthritis of the knee, we are not talking about disability. The third stage of the disease can make the patient disabled, when the functions of the joints are completely lost and unaided movement becomes impossible.

It should be understood that gonarthrosis is a chronic pathology that is constantly progressing. In order for the prognosis to be favorable, a competent choice of drugs and regular exercise are necessary.

Risk group for gonarthrosis

The risk group for osteoarthritis of the knee includes:

  • professional dancers;
  • Athlete;
  • builders, loaders, miners;
  • people with hereditary predisposition;
  • people with obesity;
  • in postural disorders;
  • suffered fractures;
  • with malformations of the ligament-joint apparatus;
  • suffer from hormonal, rheumatic and metabolic diseases.

Prevent gonarthrosis

In order to reduce the risk of gonarthrosis of the knee joints, the following recommendations should be observed:

  • take physical education classes;
  • avoid excessive physical activity;
  • control weight;
  • seek qualified medical help for injuries, inflammatory diseases of the joints;
  • do not hypothermia (if there is a problem, it is recommended to wear warm knee pads);
  • drink 2 liters of water per day;
  • wear comfortable shoes;
  • Avoid stressful situations.

This article is published for educational purposes only and does not constitute scientific material or professional medical advice.