Knee osteoarthritis is a pathology that affects the cartilage, subchondral bone and soft tissue. Cartilage covers the articular surfaces of the bones and acts as a shock absorber. Articular fluid, as a natural lubricant, prevents the cartilage lining from rubbing off. The cartilage dries out, cracks, and thins. In this article we will talk about Chronic Inflammation and Knee Osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis of the knee joint. Causes
Osteoarthritis of the knee joint is a chronic disease in which degenerative-dystrophic changes in the cartilage lead to the complete destruction of the intra-articular lining. Clinical symptoms include pain and limited joint mobility. Gonarthrosis is more frequently diagnosed in women 45+, athletes, and overweight persons who perform strenuous monotonous physical labour. There is no single cause for the development of the disease. A number of unfavourable factors weaken the cartilage. The onset of the disease is a fatal conjunction of circumstances.
Contributing factors to the onset of the disease:
- knee injuries (fractures, dislocations, meniscus damage), joint surgery;
- ageing (cartilage loses elasticity with age and cracks easily)
- systemic autoimmune diseases (rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, etc.)
- endocrine disorders (diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism), menopause;
- genetic factors (vulnerable cartilage, insufficient synovial fluid)
- overweight (excessive strain on the joints);
- hypothermia and dehydration;
- overloading of knee joints through hard work and sport;
- hip pathologies.
Low physical activity also contributes to the development of osteoarthritis. A sedentary lifestyle reduces the blood supply to the lower extremities, slows down metabolic processes, atrophies muscles, ligaments, tendons, and degenerates cartilage structures.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee joint
The course of the disease is variable and depends on the age and physical condition of the patient, the cause of the pathology, related diseases. The most common complaints are pain in the knee on exertion, swelling, burning of the affected joint, pain after prolonged immobility, dry knocks and clicking noises on movement. The diagnosis is made by an orthopaedic surgeon after an examination, questioning and additional examinations.
Joint pain can range from severe, limiting joint mobility, to barely noticeable in certain movements. In the initial stages, the pain is mild and occurs when sitting in an uncomfortable position for a long time, walking for long periods or lifting weights. It recedes quickly after rest and gets worse in cold and wet weather.