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Arthritis of the knee joint: symptoms and treatment, causes and types of arthritis

The disease affects mainly people of advanced age, but with predisposing factors, the disease "rejuvenates." Arthritis is characterized by a slow course and constant progression.


What is knee arthritis?

Arthritis of the knee joint is a pathology characterized by the defeat of the synovial bag, the cartilaginous and bony tissues of the knee joint. Each type of disease has a certain pathogenesis and the nature of origin. Regardless of this, it is always accompanied by the main signs (see photo):

  • severe pain syndrome;
  • limited mobility of the joint;
  • inflammatory process that occurs in the intraarticular tissues.

Arthritis of the knee joint

Depending on the form, there are three types of arthritis:

  1. Acute is characterized by a single occurrence of an inflammatory process in the tissues of the knee joints. Flows with the presence of acute pain.
  2. Chronic - a long course of the disease with periods of remission and exacerbations. As a result of prolonged inflammation, the inner membrane of the articular cartilage gradually thickens, which leads to complete destruction of the cartilaginous tissue.
  3. Subacute is an intermediate form of the disease, which has much in common with acute and chronic arthritis. A subacute gonitis is characterized by a prolonged course and gradual destruction of the joint. It is accompanied by a short-term manifestation of symptoms, but is not as pronounced as with acute arthritis.

It is important to know! Many are interested in the difference between arthritis and arthrosis of the knee joint. The first disease in any case is accompanied by the presence of inflammatory foci in the articular cavity of the knee. The second is degenerative, and proceeds in the absence of inflammation.

Depending on the nature of development, arthritis is divided into several types.

1. Gouty

This type of gonarthritis is caused by a violation of metabolic processes in the body. As a result of metabolic disruption, small crystals of salt are formed in the knee joint bag, which have sharp edges.

Crystals systematically injure the tissues of the joint, which leads to the development of the inflammatory process and acute pain.

2. Deforming (arthrosis-arthritis)

With arthrosis-arthritis, there is a deformation of the cartilage of the knee joint. The process takes place against the background of disturbed blood flow in the bone and joint tissues.

3. Rheumatoid

The disease lasts for years. Often begins asymptomatically, but for a long time is steadily progressing. The etiology of the disease has not been clarified by the doctors so far. In most cases, rheumatoid arthritis of the knee joint leads to disability.

4. Septic

The course of the disease is acute. As a result of penetration into the joint of pathogenic microorganisms, an inflammatory process develops. Symptoms: the knee becomes edematous, there is a sharp pain. There is a noticeable increase in knee joint in size.

5. Juvenile (idiopathic)

In most cases, the development of this type of gonitis is observed in children who have reached the age of 8 years and who have a genetic predisposition to the occurrence of joint pathologies.

6. Jet

It develops after the pathogenic microflora has entered the knee joint. Often the source of infection are bacteria that have penetrated into articular tissues from the urinary or digestive system of the body.

7. Post-traumatic

Occurs because of a meniscus injury, rupture or sprain.

8. Age

This type of arthritis is caused by the deterioration of the cartilaginous tissue of the joint, called in medicine hyaline cartilage.

Depending on the nature of the joint lesions, these types of arthritis are distinguished:

  • purulent-hemorrhagic or serous-hemorrhagic (the presence of exudate and blood in the synovial bag);
  • dry (pathological exudate in the synovial bag is absent);
  • serous (abundant exudate is observed);
  • purulent (in the joint secret there is an admixture of pus).

The causes of arthritis of the knee joint

The causes of arthritis of the knee joint

arthritis of the knee joint, photos of inflammation

Infectious arthritis is caused by the penetration of the "capsule" of the joint of the following pathogenic organisms: fungi, viruses, bacteria (gram-negative), streptococci, staphylococci and gonococci.

As for arthritis, having non-infectious origin, their development is caused by a number of factors:

  • degenerative transformations of cartilaginous tissue (most often there are age-related changes);
  • injuries of varying severity;
  • inflammatory processes occurring in tissues that are located in the immediate vicinity of the joint bag and caused by immunological disorders;
  • genetic predisposition;
  • the formation of crystallized salts that are in synovial secretion. This phenomenon is evidence of a violation of calcium metabolism in the body.

It is important to know! Predisposing factors of inflammation in the joints are constant emotional overload, stress, endocrine diseases, for example, diabetes mellitus .

Symptoms and Symptoms of Arthritis of the Knee

Signs of arthritis of the knee joint

Physicians named the general symptoms of arthritis, which are accompanied by the course of all types of disease.

  1. Inflamed and swollen tissue in the knee area.
  2. Hyperemia of the skin in the joint zone.
  3. Deviation of bone tissue.
  4. Limitation of mobility of the joint (from minor to significant).
  5. Periodically arising acute pain syndrome.
  6. Deformation of the joint.
  7. Regular or periodic burning and / or aching pain in the knee.
  8. Feeling of stiffness in the knee zone in the morning.

Symptoms of knee arthritis

In addition to these symptoms, for almost all of the types of knee arthritis, there are certain symptoms. For example, with a gouty type of gonitis, the condition worsens after taking alcohol-containing products.

Signs of arthritis of the knee joint, if the disease has an infectious etiology, are as follows:

  • The strongest swelling of the joint, extending to the entire shin;
  • elevated body temperature (about 40 ° C);
  • pain syndrome, which can migrate to any organs;
  • dermatitis.

Rheumatoid varieties of gonitis are characterized by mild inflammation in both knee joints, as well as in other joint groups (ulnar, humerus, hip). Disease, as a rule, is accompanied by an increased degree of fatigue, subfibril temperature. If the pathology proceeds for a long time, the following can be observed:

  • atrophic changes in muscle tissues;
  • disorders of the motor function of the tendons;
  • the formation of Baker's cysts .

With arthritis, there may be a systemic symptomatology:

  • diseases of the respiratory system;
  • diseases of the organs of vision;
  • atherosclerosis;
  • pathology of blood vessels and heart muscle (myocardium).


Diagnosis of knee arthritis is a rather difficult task. Sometimes, in order to collect a complete clinical picture, consultation and examination of doctors of narrow specializations is required: rheumatologist, physiotherapist, traumatologist, surgeon and arthrologist.

To diagnose gonitis, determine the stage of development and the causes of the onset, a number of tests are performed.

  • Radiography. It allows to reveal the degree of destruction of periarticular cracks, which became the cause of the inflammatory process.
  • MRI and CT. It shows the presence of ruptures of ligaments and menisci, cracks and fractures of bone tissues, foci of accumulation of pathological exudates, thickening of tendons.
  • Biochemical examination of blood. Detects inflammation in the tissues of the joint. It is through this analysis that rheumatoid gonitis is diagnosed.
  • Clinical examination of blood. He speaks about the main important indicators of blood - the number of platelets, leukocytes, ESR, etc.
  • Radioisotope examination of bone tissue of the joint.
  • Analysis of urine.
  • Study for the presence of antibodies to viruses.
  • Skin scrapings. Conducted to determine the presence of fungal pathogens of infection.
  • Exudate examination, the fence of which is made from the knee joint. Helps detect leukocytosis, the presence of salt and determine the etiology of the causative agent of infection.
  • Mantoux test (if the presence of a tuberculous form of arthritis is suspected).

Methods of treatment of arthritis of the knee joint

Methods of treatment of arthritis of the knee joint

Traditional medicamentous

Therapy must include the use of the following drugs:

  • Immunosuppressors. Their use is advisable if there are autoimmune disorders that have caused the development of arthritis (Leflunomide, Ciclosporin);
  • Antifungal. Applied if the etiology of gonitis is mycotic (Myconorm, Wilprafen);
  • Balsams, gels, used externally (Menovazine, Elakur). Also, an effective Virapine ointment is used;
  • Hormonal medicines and calcium preparations (in the presence of salt crystals in joint exudate and for the purpose of correction of metabolism);
  • Vitamin complexes, including vitamin D (Complivit, Centrum, Vitrum, Nycomed, Calcium D3);
  • Glucocorticosteroids. For relief of severe pain syndrome (Flosteron, Diprospan, Prednisolone);
  • Anti-gouty drugs, such as Colchecin tablets (with gouty gout);
  • NSAIDs. These drugs relieve pain and inflammation;
  • Antibiotics. Assign if there is an infection in the joints (Ofloxacin, Macropen).

It is important to understand! It is not necessary to independently treat arthritis of the knee joint. The medicines listed above should only be prescribed by a qualified specialist, taking into account the individual dosage and the regimen. Do not self-medicate, relying only on symptoms and signs.

Traditional not medicamentous

  1. Cryotherapy (improves metabolism in tissues, removes pain).
  2. Massage, therapeutic exercises, hydrotherapy, cardiostimulation of muscle tissues (improve blood flow, prevent atrophy).
  3. Infrared irradiation, ultrasound, laser therapy (eliminate the inflammatory process).
  4. Plasmapheresis (prescribed if there is arthritis of an infectious or rheumatoid type).


  1. Aspiration, installation of drainage (with a purulent drive).
  2. Necrectomy. It is indicated in case there are extensive necrotic patches of articular tissues.
  3. Synovectomy. It presupposes removal of the synovial sac and is prescribed if conservative methods of treatment have not been successful.
  4. Endoprosthetics of the joint. (If the patient is diagnosed with a deforming drive).
  5. Arthroscopy (removal of large crystals of salt).

Treatment of knee arthritis with folk remedies

Folk methods of arthritis treatment of the knee joint

To remove the pain syndrome, stop inflammation and improve blood flow in the tissues of arthritis of the knee joint, you can use folk remedies - very help herbal baths. They should be prepared at the rate of 300 g of grass per bath.

The herbal mixture (or one plant species) is poured into 4 liters of water and boiled for 10-15 minutes, after which it is infused for about half an hour and poured into a bath filled with water.

Pay attention to the temperature of the water in the tub, one should not exceed 36-37 ° C. Also, make sure that the water does not cover the heart area.

For the preparation of baths, you can use the following herbs individually or in combination with each other: pine needles, chamomile, sage, sporegrass, Ledum, sweet clover, juniper, St. John's wort and birch buds.


In the form of compresses you can use ordinary mustard plasters, flax seeds, radish and horseradish. In the tissue flap, wrap one of the selected means, which is preheated. Fold the fabric several times and attach to the knee for an hour. Top with polyethylene and a warm scarf.


For cooking, blend olive and sunflower oil in equal parts, for example, 100 ml. To the oil mixture, add 200 ml of kerosene (purified). Stir thoroughly. After that, add 10 pods of hot pepper.

Place the mass in a glass container, insist for a week in a dark cool place and periodically shake. Rub the joint daily before bedtime for 15 days. The rest of the time, make sure that your knees are warm.


To make the application, add a white (you can use black, yellow or green) clay (80 g) a couple of drops of lime juice (permissible to replace lemon) and 20 ml of boiled water. You will get a lot of thick consistency. From it, blend a cake 3 cm thick.

Lay the clay cake on a napkin or cloth and attach to the diseased knee. From above the joint can be bandaged and wrapped with a woolen cloth. Hold for half an hour.

"Folk Ointment" for the treatment of arthritis

For the preparation of the ointment, you will need grass sweet clover (20 g) and petroleum jelly (35 g), which can be replaced with the same amount of butter.

Fill the grass with 300 ml of water and boil until the water is reduced by half. Then strain the broth and add oil or petroleum jelly into it. To treat arthritis of the knee, rub the ointment into the joint three times a day.

Complications of knee arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis, including the presence of contracture.
  • Violation of the vessels.
  • Strong muscle weakness, right up to muscle atrophy.
  • Functional heart rate irregularities.
  • Respiratory system disorders.
  • Deterioration of vision.
  • Kidney pathology.
  • Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.


  1. Regular independent massage of the lower legs and thighs.
  2. Timely normalization of the functions of any systems and bodies.
  3. Prevention of the transition of infectious diseases to the chronic stage of development.
  4. Try to avoid work associated with excessive physical exertion, for example, lifting weights.
  5. Regular sports (except for high loads on your knees).
  6. Keep your posture.
  7. Timely treatment of pathology of the feet and spine.
  8. Classes in therapeutic gymnastics.
  9. The correct diet.

If you feel the slightest discomfort in the knee area, immediately contact a therapist who will collect an anamnesis and send you to a profile doctor for advice.

Arthritis of the knee joint, the symptoms and treatment of which largely depend on its etiology, requires comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. Remember that promptly conducted examination and appointment of competent therapy is the key to achieving the most positive result!


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