As a general rule, this structure is located between the bones that form a joint to avoid friction between them. However, when the cartilage wears out (may eventually disappear completely) its usual functions are affected.
We can also point out that this pathology tends to affect certain joints more frequently. We include osteoarthritis of knees, hands, spine and hip.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee
The patient usually shows a series of symptoms or signs associated with this disease . Among the most common we can highlight:
- Swelling or presence of inflammation in one or both knees.
- Crunches or noises when a movement with the knees takes place after a variable period of rest.
- Sensation of stiffness or numbness in the affected areas after a period of inactivity.
- Tingling in the knees at different times during the day.
- Difficulty to perform any movement that uses the affected joint, especially after a few moments of rest.
- Pain or discomfort that may have different intensity. In the early stages of the disease, pain is present when making a movement. As the disease progresses, pain may appear even in a state of rest. Some people may even develop lameness due to this disorder.
Causes of osteoarthritis of the knee
- Primary. It is also called idiopathic because it does not present any risk factor or specific trigger. It can affect more than one joint at the same time.
- High school. It presents a specific cause, among the most frequent we find traumatisms or injuries, carry out a repetitive activity with it’s joint or certain diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or
On the other hand, several risk factors have been identified that increase the chances of developing the disease. For example:
- Overweight or obesity Weight gain overloads certain joints such as the knees or the spine.
- Present background, that is, have a family member who has suffered this alteration. Several studies are checking if there is a genetic factor in this pathology.
Treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee
If the medical team suspects that the patient has this disorder, it can carry out a series of medical tests to confirm it. As a general rule, it includes both a physical examination and a blood, urine and synovial fluid test.
This substance is found in the joints, protects it and provides nutrients to the cartilages of it. The diagnosis can also be made by obtaining images of the area through radiographs, ultrasounds and even magnetic resonance imaging (
On the other hand, the ultimate goal of treatment is to alleviate the symptoms that the patient presents and to delay as far as possible the progress of the pathology. Among the most common guidelines we can highlight:
- Use of analgesic drugs, that is, to calm the pain or discomfort of the joint.
- Anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling of the knees and keep it under control.
- In the most advanced and serious cases, a surgical intervention can be carried out to reduce the intense pain caused by dislocations. In this case, one of the bones moves away from the joint and dislocates. After surgery, the joint can be replaced or replaced by a prosthesis.
In short, in the presence of progressive, persistent joint pain, with disabling characteristics, it is recommended that you consult with your medical team to rule out any pathology through a complete clinical history and a physical examination.