Osteoarthritis: causes, symptoms and features of treatment
Knee pain is a common occurrence for many people in our country. Unfortunately, for the majority it is not a reason to go to the doctor. But as time goes on, and the symptoms increase, it becomes difficult to walk, and medications give only temporary relief. These signs may indicate osteoarthritis of the knee joint - a dangerous disease that, if left untreated, will easily lead to disability.
What is osteoarthritis
Gonarthrosis is a degenerative-dystrophic lesion of the joints, in particular, their cartilage tissue. In fact, by osteoarthritis understand a group of ailments that have similar symptoms and course. The disease has a progressive nature, which suggests that the symptoms only increases, as well as the amount of damage to the joint.
The process involves not only the cartilaginous component, but also the subchondral bone, ligamentous apparatus, capsule, synovial membrane, and periarticular muscle fibers. As a result, complete functional insufficiency of the joint occurs.
Unfortunately, in modern medicine there are no pharmacy tools that are guaranteed to get rid of this ailment. Medications only facilitate its course and inhibit the progression and nothing more.
The basis of degeneration in osteoarthritis is dystrophic changes with primary damage to cartilage, accompanied by inflammation. In this regard, in ICD-10 and other classifications, this pathology is associated with arthritis, arthrosis, but the most common synonym is deforming osteoarthritis of the knee joint.
The current medical classification of the disease is quite extensive.
So, depending on the extent of the lesion, 2 types of pathology are distinguished:
Localized or "mono".
Only 1 joint affected.
The following subspecies are distinguished here: polyosteoarthrosis (more than 3 joints), oligooosteoarthrosis (2 components are affected) and spondylostiarthrosis - the disease covers the joint and is combined with osteochondrosis of the ridge.
The course of the disease is progressive.
Therefore, in medicine there are 3 stages of the development of the disease:
Initial or first.
Morphological changes in tissues are absent, however, the inflammatory process has already begun.This is due to the fact that the joint can no longer withstand stress. Among the complaints of the patient - pain.
The process of destruction started, which is noticeable as the cartilage and meniscus. Osteophytes appear - bone growths, due to which the body tries to compensate for the increased load.
Bone deformity is pronounced, the axis of the limb is changed, ligaments are shortened, contractures appear. The joint itself has a pathological mobility, while its bag remains rigid, which significantly limits the physical capabilities of the patient. Pain and inflammation are constantly present.
For a more accurate diagnosis, physicians use the X-ray qualification of the disease according to Kellgren-Lawrence:
This is a dubious degree. A slight narrowing of the joint space is observed, small osteophytes may appear. This is osteoarthritis of the knee 1 degree.
This is a mild degree. Osteophytes and the dubious narrowing of the joint space are visualized.
This is a moderate degree. Osteophytes are clearly visualized, narrowing of the joint space is pronounced, the appearance of bone deformities is also likely.
This is a severe disease.Osteophytes are strongly pronounced, the articular space is narrowed, bone deformation is highly visible, severe osteosclerosis is developed.
Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease. Such a diagnosis is made in 70% of cases after the treatment of patients with pain in the joint area. This ailment is the most common cause of disability and requires that treatment be correct and timely. This is the only way to temper unpleasant symptoms and slow down the inevitable progression of the disease.
Causes of illness
The prevalence of the disease causes medical professionals to sound the alarm. But where does such an unpleasant and severe pathology come from?
Experts have identified such factors that can lead to the development of osteoarthritis:
- Obesity. Doctors noted that the disease often appears in persons who are overweight. Also, the progression of pathology in this category of patients is more dynamic.
- Floor. Women are more likely to suffer from this disease.
- Age. Osteoarthritis is more susceptible to persons who have already turned 40 years old.
- Hereditary factor. The presence of illness in relatives increases the risks.
- Congenital defects of the knee joints.
- Classes are heavy and athletics. Increased stress on the joint can lead to the need for treatment of osteoarthritis.
- The consequences of injuries and surgeries.
- Other diseases of the body, leading to deterioration of metabolism and degeneration of cartilage tissue.
- Unclear etymology. This is the so-called idiopathic form of the problem.
Unfortunately, in most cases it is impossible to foresee the development of the disease. Therefore, doctors recommend to carefully monitor the state of their health and, if any pain or ailments appear, consult a doctor. This is the only way to diagnose osteoarthritis of the knee joint in a timely manner and take all measures to inhibit its progression.
Symptoms of the knee
Experts point to the need for early diagnosis of pathology, because only in this way can measures be taken that can significantly slow down the progression of the disease.
Manifestations of gonarthrosis are directly related to the stage of development of the disease. At the first stage, the patient may note the following symptoms:
- Discomfort in the knee area. Usually, this feeling worries after a long standing or walking and passes in moments of rest.
- Pain that occurs after prolonged exertion and with full bending of the knee.
- Legs get tired quickly, even though the load level has not changed.
In the second stage, the symptoms change slightly:
- Pain syndrome is constantly present, not disappearing even at rest. A characteristic tendency is to increase the intensity of pain in the morning and in the evening.
- Gait changes, slows down. Many patients start walking with a cane, as it is difficult to lean on their legs.
- A characteristic crunch appears during knee flexion.
- The joint is deformed.
- Palpation of the affected area is painful.
- Probably the appearance of lumbago, sharp pain under load. Such sensations are provoked by a fragment of cartilage.
- There is a risk of swelling.
- The patient's quality of life decreases, the ability to work decreases.
Usually, hospitalization occurs at this stage. However, at this stage, drug treatment is reduced to relief of symptoms. Doctors are trying to slow down the progression of degeneration, but this is very problematic. In most cases, the only way out is emergency surgery.
At the third stage, the following signs are observed:
- The patient is literally followed by constant pain. Feelings are painful and do not pass even in a dream.
- The joint is severely deformed.
- Mobility is limited, muscles and tendons at the joint are atrophied. The patient can only bend and slightly bend the leg, and sometimes this is not possible.
- Appears x-or O-shaped curvature of the legs.
- Heard a strong crunch when moving.
At this stage, the patient is assigned a disability. Treatment is possible only by implantation of an artificial joint, and then, provided that the formation of a pseudarthrosis has not occurred or the bones have not joined each other.
Features of therapy
Competent treatment of this pathology is complex and long, so you should be patient.
Doctors recommend an integrated approach that includes the following components:
- Exercise therapy;
- drug therapy;
- surgical intervention;
- lifestyle correction.
Also, as a supplement, treatment of osteoarthrosis with folk remedies is used. But note that this is only an auxiliary element of therapy, not a panacea.
Drug treatment includes the following components:
Pain relief is one of the main goals of conservative therapy. Standard analgesics are often useless, so the appointment of Ketanov, Morphine, etc. is not excluded.
Anti-inflammatory nonsteroidal drugs.
These are medicines based on ibuprofen. They relieve inflammation, which leads to the elimination of pain.
The injection is done directly into the joint. This is an extreme measure applied in a period of severe exacerbation.
This is a group of drugs containing chondroitin. They inhibit the degeneration of cartilage. Rapid effect treatment with such drugs does not, but the progression of the disease gradually slows down.
Physiotherapy shows excellent results.These procedures are designed to prevent atrophy of muscles and ligaments, as well as to reduce pain. Doctors usually prescribe massage, electrophoresis, heating, exposure to ultrasound, etc.
Lifestyle correction also matters. Patients should enter into your diet jelly, jellies, berries, various fruits and fish oil. It is also worth refusing from caffeine, alcohol and various confectionery products.
In order for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee joint to be effective, it is important to consult a doctor promptly. Therefore, noticing the first signs of discomfort, you should immediately go to the hospital. Simple consultation and examination can save you from disability.