Arthrosis of the knee joint: symptoms

The main cause of acute pain in the knees in patients older than 50 years is gonarthrosis (deforming arthrosis of the knee joint).Degrees of arthrosis of the knee jointThe disease is characterized by rapid progression and can cause disability and incapacity for work, therefore, timely detection of symptoms of arthrosis of the knee joint and treatment of the disease, including at home, are the main tasks in examining patients at risk for pathologies of the musculoskeletal system.

What is knee osteoarthritis

The knee joint is one of the most mobile joints of the human skeleton, prone to injury and other mechanical damage. It connects the tibia and femur, as well as the largest sesamoid bone, located in the tendons of the quadriceps femoris (patella or patella). The surfaces of the joint are covered with cartilage tissue - a dense, elastic substance that surrounds chondrocytes (oval-shaped cells formed from chondroblasts) and creates a protective shell around them, and also acts as a shock absorber.

The composition of cartilage contains collagen - a fibrillar protein, which is the main element of connective fibers and provides strength and elasticity of cartilage - and glucosamine. Glucosamine is a substance produced by cartilage. Glucosamine is part of the synovial fluid - a yellowish elastic mass that fills the joint cavity and acts as a lubricant. If the synthesis of glucosamine and proteoglycans is impaired, the amount of synovial fluid decreases, which leads to the exposure of parts of the joint and the occurrence of intense pain, therefore, the treatment of arthrosis of the knee joint of the 1st degree always includes the use of chondroprotective drugs.

What happens in the joints with arthrosis:

  1. the cartilage becomes soft and loose, and deep ulcerations appear on its surface;
  2. the synovial membrane thickens;
  3. the composition of the synovial fluid changes, its secretion decreases;
  4. there is a sprain of the ligaments and joint capsule;
  5. the articular cavity is filled with exudate - an inflammatory fluid released from the blood vessels during a period of acute inflammation.
Endoprosthetics of the knee joint with gonarthrosis

In the absence of timely and adequate treatment, arthrosis leads to complete deformation and destruction of the knee joint, while the patient may show both unnatural mobility and complete immobility of the joint. To stop the process of destruction of the articular and cartilaginous surface in diagnosed knee arthrosis, the doctor may suggest arthroplasty - a surgical operation to replace the damaged joint with an artificial prosthesis that is suitable in size.

The cost of primary knee arthroplasty varies by region and can range from $255 to $1465.

If there are indications, the operation can be done according to the quota within the CHI program.

Classification and etiological factors

Arthrosis of the knee joint can be primary and secondary. Primary arthrosis is diagnosed in cases where it is impossible to accurately determine the cause of the pathology. If cartilage deformation was preceded by other diseases and pathologies, knee injuries, arthrosis is considered secondary, that is, developing against the background of a primary disease.

The main causes of secondary arthrosis of the knee joints include:

  • various dysplasias and other pathologies in which abnormal development and formation of tissues occurs;
  • neurodystrophic diseases of the lumbar or cervical spine;
  • inflammation of the knee joint (arthritis);
  • injuries and microtraumas of the joint;
  • surgical removal of a damaged meniscus or part of it (meniscectomy);
  • diseases of the endocrine system and hormonal disorders, in which the rate of metabolic reactions slows down, the metabolism in bone tissue is disturbed.

Primary arthrosis of the knee joint often develops in people who lead a sedentary lifestyle, or, conversely, who regularly experience increased physical activity on the knee joint. Overweight patients, people over 50 years of age, residents of environmentally unfavorable areas, patients with various types of addictions to toxic substances (smokers, drug addicts, alcoholics) are also at increased risk for the development of gonarthrosis.

Regular hypothermia can contribute to inflammation and further deformation of the knee joint, so people with a tendency to diseases of the musculoskeletal system are advised to observe the temperature regime and abandon activities associated with prolonged exposure to low temperatures (work outside, in refrigerators and freezers, etc. ). d. ).

Women over 45 who are interested in how to treat knee arthrosis should know that a provoking factor in the development of pathology can be reduced estrogen synthesis, which can occur after menopause and with some gynecological diseases: endometrial hyperplasia, uterine myoma, fibroadenoma, endometriosis. A negative factor is also various diets that limit the intake of foods rich in minerals, vitamins and other elements necessary for joint health.

Signs and symptoms

In order for the prognosis of later life to be as favorable as possible, it is important not only to know how to treat arthrosis of the knee, but also what symptoms the disease manifests itself. This is necessary for timely access to a specialist and early detection of possible deformities and other injuries of the knee joint. At the initial stage, the pathology has rather meager symptoms, therefore it is possible to identify arthrosis of the knee of the 1st degree only after conducting hardware and instrumental diagnostics.

The first symptoms of the disease include:

  1. morning stiffness in the knee;
  2. pain when walking when walking a distance exceeding 1-1. 5 km;
  3. pain in the knees with prolonged (more than 2 hours in a row) sitting;
  4. pain in the knee joint after prolonged standing;
  5. pain in the knees that occurs at the end of the day or in the first half of a night's sleep.

If the patient does not receive the necessary treatment at this stage, the disease will progress. In order to choose the right medicine for arthrosis of the knee joint, it is necessary to undergo a series of diagnostic examinations (MRI, computed tomography, radiography, etc. ) and determine the degree of deformation, the level of synovial fluid in the joint cavity, the density of cartilage tissue and synovial membrane. Symptoms of arthrosis of the knees 2 and 3 degrees are shown in the table below.

Differential diagnosis of arthrosis of the knee joint 2 and 3 degrees:
diagnostic sign Arthrosis of the knee 2 degrees Arthrosis of the knee 3 degrees
Pain while resting at night May appear when changing body position or getting out of bed. Occurs without any movement.
Ability to use public transport (excluding low-floor buses) The patient experiences pain when climbing stairs, but with certain restrictions can use public transport without assistance. The patient cannot get on the bus or tram on his own due to the limited mobility of the knee joint.
Lameness Slightly expressed. Lameness is pronounced, additional supports (canes) are required for movement.
Stiffness in the knee after waking up Lasts less than 10-15 minutes. Lasts about 20-30 minutes or more.
Pain when walking Occur after passing 800-1000 m. They begin at the beginning of the movement and intensify after passing a distance of less than 500 m.
Self-service ability Usually saved. The patient cannot perform a number of actions without outside help.

Treatment of arthrosis of the knee joint at home

Treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee joint can be carried out with the help of:

  • medical methods;
  • physiotherapy exercises;
  • massage.

The use of traditional medicine recipes is possible only after consultation with the attending physician and should not replace the main treatment prescribed by a specialist.

The choice of drugs and methods for treatment depends not only on the age of the patient and his chronic diseases, but also on the stage of arthrosis and the degree of deformation of the cartilaginous and articular surface.

Arthrosis 1 degree

This is the mildest form of arthrosis, which in most cases can be cured with minor medication correction and additional measures: massage, exercise therapy, physiotherapy. The most effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis, regardless of its stage, is laser therapy. This is the main method of physiotherapy, which gives quite good results at the initial stage of arthrosis.

It helps to achieve the following effect:

  1. the degree of inflammation in the joint cavity decreases;
  2. the intensity of pain decreases;
  3. the process of tissue regeneration is stimulated;
  4. the need for the use of glucocorticosteroids and other drugs with serious side effects disappears.

As an alternative to laser therapy, the doctor can offer pulse magnetotherapy, acupuncture, electromyostimulation and electrophoresis.

All these methods are quite effective in the treatment of arthrosis. with a degree of deformation of not more than 20-25%, but the effectiveness of treatment will be higher if combined with physiotherapy exercises and massage.

Orthopedists and surgeons note the positive effect of the use of water exercises aimed at developing leg muscle strength.

Patients with arthrosis of the knees of 1-2 degrees can be offered sanatorium treatment (during a period of stable remission), including mud therapy, warming up in a sauna, therapeutic baths. Overweight patients are prescribed a special diet, since obesity is one of the main factors in the development of arthrosis of the knees.

In case of arthrosis, it is necessary to fix the diseased knee joint with an orthosis

Arthrosis 2 degrees

Treatment of arthrosis of the knee joint of the 2nd degree includes physiotherapy and massage (outside the acute period), special nutrition, physiotherapy exercises and medication. It is very important to reduce the load on the damaged joint: limit walking, avoid movements that require bending the knee. With rapidly progressive arthrosis, the use of special orthoses is indicated - orthopedic devices designed to fix the diseased joint and limit its mobility.

The drug regimen may include the following drugs:

  • chondroprotectors;
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • intra-articular injections of hyaluronic acid;
  • injections of glucocorticosteroid hormones.

The diet for patients with arthrosis of the knee should contain a sufficient amount of foods rich in collagen.


  • products with gelling additives (jelly, jelly, jelly, aspic);
  • products with the addition of pectin;
  • fish fat.

Almost all fruits and berries contain essential amino acids and minerals to keep joints healthy and mobile, but these foods should be consumedlimited in diabetic patients.

Arthrosis 3 degrees

Treatment of arthrosis of the knee joint of the 3rd degree does not differ from the therapy used for arthrosis of the 2nd degree.

With its ineffectiveness and severe limitation of movement, the patient is prescribed surgical treatment with further prosthetics of the damaged joint.

Folk methods

Before you learn how to treat knee joints at home with alternative medicine recipes, you need to consult a doctor. The use of the methods listed below is only permissible for arthrosis of the 1st degree and at the initial stage of arthrosis of the 2nd degree.

Nettle and Lemon Infusion

This infusion should be taken orally 20-30 minutes before meals. A single dose is 50-80 ml.

To prepare the infusion, you must:

  1. Mix 100 g of dried or fresh nettle leaves with three peeled heads of garlic;
  2. pass the mixture through a meat grinder;
  3. add 4 tablespoons of lemon juice;
  4. mix everything, add 250 ml of boiling water and cover;
  5. insist for 4 hours.

The duration of treatment in this way is at least 60 days. In the first week, the infusion should be taken 1 time per day, in the next 7-10 days - 2 times a day. Starting from the third week of treatment, the number of doses should be increased to 3 times a day.

Honey ointment for joints

This ointment helps relieve inflammation and reduce pain. The first result is noticeable after a week of daily use, but to achieve a stable result, you need to apply it for 30-45 days.

To prepare the ointment, you must:

  • melt 2 tablespoons of butter;
  • mix the oil with two spoons of honey and one spoon of apple cider vinegar 6%;
  • Place the mixture in the refrigerator to set.

Apply such an ointment to your knees 2-3 times a day (the last time - before going to bed).

Bath with dandelions

For such a bath, tincture of dandelion roots is used. To prepare it, you need to mix 120 g of crushed dandelion roots with 150 ml of vodka and insist in a dark place for a day. Before taking a bath, the contents of the container must be poured into water and stirred. It is recommended to take such a bath 1-2 times a week. After the procedure, pain in the knees becomes less, and mobility in the joints is gradually restored. The effectiveness of the treatment will be higher if you add 150 g of sea salt enriched with iodine and bromine to the water.


  1. "Only injections of hyaluronic acid helped me with arthrosis. A very good drug with a minimum of side effects and high efficiency. Now I almost don’t feel pain in my knees, although before I couldn’t even go down the stairs without help. "
  2. "It seems to me that arthrosis of the knees is such a disease that nothing can cure it. You can dull the pain a little, but then it will still come back. During exacerbations, I am treated with ficus and Jerusalem artichoke. It helps no worse than pills, only there is no harm to the heart and liver.
  3. "I also had a diagnosis of arthrosis of the knee joint of the 2nd degree. The reason was, most likely, excess weight (at that time I weighed more than 130 kg). For treatment, a salt-free diet, chondroprotectors, anti-inflammatory ointments and hormonal injections were prescribed. I did everything in accordance with the instructions - arthrosis was completely gone.

Osteoarthritis of the knee joint is a severe pathology of the musculoskeletal system, prone to rapid progression. The treatment regimen should be selected by the attending physician after conducting a comprehensive diagnosis and identifying the degree of degenerative, dystrophic processes and deformation of the cartilaginous and articular surface. The prognosis of treatment depends on compliance with medical prescriptions and timely seeking medical help.