Diseases of the musculoskeletal system lead to considerable restrictions in human mobility. In order not to bring complications to the situation, it is necessary to carry out treatment in a timely manner. Osteoarthritis of the knee joint is the most common form of damage to the skeletal bone joints and the leading cause of disability. But with a timely visit to the doctor, you can get rid of the disease.
Osteoarthritis of the knee is the unofficial name of the disease. In medicine it is called osteoarthritis. The word is made up of two ancient Greek words - bone and joint. Other synonyms:
- Deformation of osteoarthritis or DOA in short (the first word in the name reflects the main clinical symptom - joint deformity);
- Gonarthrosis (from a combination of the ancient Greek words "knee" and "joint").
Sometimes the disease is incorrectly referred to as arthritis, although the term traditionally refers to a connective tissue disorder that has nothing to do with osteoarthritis.
The essence of osteoarthritis is that it damages the cartilage tissue that lines the surface of the joint, which starts inflammation, disrupts the work of the bone joints, and causes pain. Unfortunately, this is a very common pathology diagnosed mainly in the elderly (especially overweight people) and young athletes due to injuries.
For effective treatment, it is necessary to conduct a full examination of the patient with osteoarthritis, especially to identify the reasons that caused the musculoskeletal problem. The following factors lead to the disease most often:
CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS
For effective treatment, it is necessary to conduct a full examination of the patient with osteoarthritis, especially to identify the reasons that caused the musculoskeletal problem. Most often, the following factors lead to the disease:
- broken legs;
- dislocations, cartilage injuries, inflammation;
- metabolic disorder;
- endocrine diseases;
- ligamentous apparatus weakness;
- hereditary predisposition;
- Autoimmune diseases and infections that cause damage to the joint tissue.
Late access to a doctor threatens constant pain in the knee area and a complete loss of joint mobility.To prevent this from happening, you need to register for an appointment with a specialist if you experience a crunch in your knee while walking and painful sensations when going down or climbing stairs. If treatment is not started at this point, the situation will worsen - the pain will stop, movements will be restricted, and the knee will be deformed.
The longer you do not see a doctor, the more difficult, time-consuming and expensive the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee becomes.
DEGREE OF DISEASE
Osteoarthritis is diagnosed by a doctor. It not only identifies the disease, but also determines its degree. There are three of them:
- First. It is possible to cure the disease at the initial stage, since at this point there are no morphological disorders of the tissues, the muscles are weakened but not yet changed, and the joint is exposed to the load due to dysfunction of the synovial membrane and the biochemical composition of the cavity fluid that causes theCartilage and the cartilage fluid feeds, poorly toleratedmenisci. Excessive use leads to inflammation and pain.
- Second. At this stage, cartilage and menisci begin to collapse, the load leads to pathological growths of bone tissue and narrowing of the joint space. Because of this, the knee increases in size and looks deformed. The treatment of bilateral gonarthrosis of the 2nd degree knee joint is already more difficult compared to the first stage. Pain and inflammation become chronic.
- Third. This degree is already considered serious. At the same time, the bone deformation is clearly expressed, the axis of the extremity changes, as a result of which the mechanical load is not properly distributed. The ligaments of the joint are shortened, which limits natural movements, and then the leg can become completely motionless. Treatment of arthrosis of the 3rd degree knee joint without surgery is not possible because the disease is very advanced.
If pain seems tolerable for a long time, people think that they only suffer from osteoarthritis in the first stage and postpone the doctor's visit. However, this opinion is not correct. Every day, the load on the main elements of the joint, which is already beginning to collapse, increases, and pathological changes can lead to the complete destruction of the joint and severe dysfunction of the limbs.
The progression of the disease is accompanied by characteristic symptoms. Pain occurs in the middle of the night, even when the leg is stationary. Stiffness is felt in the morning.
Walking becomes difficult when you cover a certain distance, then at the beginning of the movement. In severe cases, a person cannot walk 100 meters normally, it becomes painful for them to stand and sit. You need to move with the help of special equipment.
A slight lameness in the first stage is then pronounced. As a result, walking, using public transport, performing work, household functions, and even self-service can become completely impossible.
Folk recipes, pharmaceutical compresses and ointments will not help get rid of the disease, since the approach must be comprehensive.Recovery is usually only possible in a hospital where a doctor treats osteoarthritis of the knee.What kind of recommendations to give the patient, he decides on the basis of the specified complaints and the associated pathologies. The following points are usually required:
- reduces the stress on the joints;
- compliance with the orthopedic regime;
- Physiotherapy (movement therapy);
- is undergoing physiotherapy.
All of this helps slow the progression of osteoarthritis and prevent loss of motor skills. It will be understood that the methods used will largely depend on the capabilities of the hospital and the availability of one or the other physical therapy equipment. It is best if the patient has the opportunity to go to a spa treatment or to a specialized orthopedic clinic where a modern approach to the selection of medication, diet, techniques, etc. is provided.
USE OF MEDICINAL PRODUCTS
Inflammatory processes and painful sensations make the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee impossible without drugs in the form of tablets, creams, ointments and injections. In the first phase, you can use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - diclofenac, indomethacin, nimesulide, etc. In the second and third phases, you often need to fight inflammation with steroid drugs - triamcinolone, hydrocortisone. The same hormones are used for acute pain.
In addition, intramuscular and intra-articular injections of drugs that improve the condition of cartilage tissue (vasodilators and chondroprotectors) are required.
Substantial improvements can be achieved through physical therapy. The following techniques are considered to be the most effective:
- Shock wave therapy. This method has worked well for the past 20 years. Its essence lies in the action on the affected area with a special device that emits radial sound waves that activate the blood supply and stimulate tissue repair.
- Myostimulation. This therapy targets the muscles surrounding the joint. Weak current impulses increase leg mobility, relieve pain and increase endurance during physical exertion.
- phonophoresis. This technique harmoniously combines ultrasound therapy and the use of products in the form of ointments, gels and creams. Usually such dosage forms are only absorbed by 5-7%, but high-frequency ultrasonic vibrations heat the tissues and the absorption increases many times. In addition to the good therapeutic effect, this saves the consumption of expensive drugs.
- ozone therapy. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects can be achieved through the action of active oxygen on the joint. This is a good supplement, and in some cases an alternative to taking hormones.
Pain from physical exertion on a joint causes the person to try to avoid it. In the long term, this threatens physical inactivity, which leads to muscle atrophy and weak ligaments. Of course, during the period of exacerbation, it is necessary to completely remove the load on the joint, but a few days after the removal of inflammation and pain, it is necessary to begin physical therapy exercises.
It is believed that correctly and consistently performed movement therapy exercises can save the patient from surgical interventions. At present, experienced specialists have developed many special methods of daily training that strengthen muscles and increase their strength and endurance, inhibit the destruction of pathological tissue, restore mobility of joints and freedom of movement.
The most important thing about this type of treatment is regularity.A good effect is achieved only by patients who understand the need for lifestyle changes and strictly follow the doctor's recommendations on the relationship between physical activity and joint rest.
Lymphatic drainage, massage and manual therapy are a good complement to medication, physiotherapy and exercise therapy. They are essential for sedentary patients and can improve the condition of their muscles, joints and ligaments.
Another passive kinesitherapy method is mechanotherapy. Special devices are used - vibration simulators, weighting aids, mechanical massagers that improve the effectiveness of treatment.
By lengthening the joints, in which the cavity is enlarged mechanically, you can get rid of pain and stop destructive processes. Regular use of this therapy extends knee health for years.
COMPLIANCE WITH NUTRITION
Since obesity is often the cause of osteoarthritis, patients with this diagnosis must be concerned about weight loss. Losing weight reduces the stress on the joint and makes exercise therapy easier. Sometimes dieting is not enough and bariatric surgery is required, but such situations are rare.
Another indication for adherence to a certain diet can be a pathology associated with osteoarthritis. If obesity or other diseases do not appear, and at the same time there is a need to change eating habits, no special diet is required. However, you can help the body strengthen the affected cartilage tissue by including foods rich in collagen such as jelly and aspic, fish oil, berries, and fruits in your diet. It is better to avoid unhealthy foods like sugar, carbonated and alcoholic beverages.
In advanced cases, a quick solution to problems with the musculoskeletal system is to perform operations. For osteoarthritis, the following types of surgical intervention are prescribed:
- You can use puncture to remove the fluid that has accumulated in the joint cavity. This will reduce inflammation, which will restore knee mobility.
- Arthroscopy makes it possible to clean the surface of the joint from destroyed pieces of tissue. It is performed with thin, flexible instruments using a video camera, which avoids dissection of the joint cavity.
- The periarticular osteotomy allows you to change the angle of one of the bones that make up the knee joint, thereby redistributing the load, increasing mobility, and reducing pain. This procedure is quite traumatic as the bone has to be sawed.
- Endoprosthetics enable a diseased joint to be replaced by a biocompatible structure. At the same time, the previous range of motion is restored, but the operation is quite new and very complicated, after which a long rehabilitation is required.
In the first phase, surgery is rarely required. With the second it is only necessary sometimes, with the third one cannot do without it.
Which of the many treatment methods is used depends on the doctor. The specialist chooses the best method, and the patient's task is to strictly follow the recommendations of the orthopedic surgeon. This is the only way to achieve a good result quickly. This is confirmed by patients who have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee.