Top-4 Diseases of Knee Joints: Symptoms and Effective Treatment

The knee is one of the largest and most complex joints of the human body, which constantly carries a heavy load. At the same time, it is very vulnerable suffering from injuries and various diseases quite often. Almost every person is familiar with pain in the knees. Each of us knows how painful it is to suffer from the limitation of mobility in the legs and difficulty in walking. Many diseases of the knee joint have similar symptoms but the causes of development in each pathology are different. Here, we are going to have a closer look at the categories of diseases of knee joins for you to know which symptoms each of them has in order to treat the disease effectively.


Contents

Disease number 1: Bursitis

Bursitis of the knee joint is an inflammation of one or at the same time several synovial bags that are in places of greatest pressure. It is a clearly limited swelling with redness (with an acute process), local fever and painful palpation. The joint bag (bursa) is a kind of synovial sac, in which a special liquid is produced. The synovial bag is designed to alleviate pressure on the articular surfaces of the knee joint, as well as muscle tendons and protect them from damage. With a very severe traumatic factor or, for other reasons, the synovial bag inflames, which is the basis of bursitis of the knee joint.

Causes

  • Injury of the joint and periarticular bags – with a fall, impact, strong compression of the tissues, a bruise or injury to the knee joint meniscus, for example, a meniscus tearing occurs. In this case, bursitis of the knee joint may develop.
  • Strong physical activity, leading to overload of the joint – there is a stretching of ligaments and tendons, as well as the joint capsule and the synovial membrane. Arises more often in weightlifters, football players.
  • Infectious lesion of the articular bag, arthritis.
  • Gout – often causes bursitis near the thumb of the foot, but sometimes bursitis of the knee joint.
  • Autoimmune diseases with damage to the synovium.

Symptoms

Symptoms of joint disease are usually pronounced. In chronic course, the symptoms may be smoothed during the period of remission, but during the period of exacerbation they appear quite brightly. Chronic flow is often accompanied by the deposition of calcium salts in the ligaments and knee bursa.

When the kneecap biceps pains in the knee, the causes of which are related to the pressure of effusion on the nerve endings of the synovial membrane; pain increases with movement. Also, a distinctive symptom is the presence of swelling on top of the patella with local redness and fever.

Popliteal bursitis is characterized by mild pain, slight swelling with localization under the knee cap. In the presence of Baker’s cyst, the pain worries, mainly when walking on the stairs, also it is characterized by the presence of protrusion on the back surface of the knee, which can periodically disappear and reappear.

Diagnostics

To diagnose bursitis, it is usually enough to examine the patient. Characteristic symptoms are noted: local swelling (in contrast to total swelling in arthritis of the knee joint) with redness and local fever, pain. Sometimes a puncture of the joint is performed to ascertain the pathogen. But it should not be done with serous bursitis.

Treatment

  • When infectious bursitis antibiotics are always prescribed, puncture and drainage of the knee joint is also performed.
  • For the treatment of the serous bursitis, painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs are usually prescribed, and physiotherapy is actively used.
  • Physiotherapy is devoid of side effects that are characteristic of medications, perfectly eliminates symptoms and accelerates recovery by activating your body’s reserves. Particular attention should be given to ultrasound therapy, which has an excellent anti-edema effect, removes inflammation and pain. Due to high-frequency oscillations of the ultrasonic wave, there is a transition of edematous effusion from the state of the gel to the sol, that is, from the more viscous state to the liquid. This improves the resorption (absorption) of the fluid and reduces swelling.
  • Laser therapy is also used to reduce edema, inflammation and pain. In addition, laser therapy has a very pronounced biostimulating effect, that is, it accelerates the regeneration and healing processes.
  • In chronic bursitis with the presence of calcification deposits, shockwave therapy is necessarily used.
  • Magnetotherapy with a pulsed magnetic field and electrotherapy have proven themselves well.
  • At home, you can use ice to reduce edema, and in clinical settings, local cryotherapy is used. Natural homemade methods often help. You can use a leaf of cabbage with honey, attached for 8 hours, but sometimes this method can give an aggravation. It is better to consult a doctor for reception of adequate treatment.

Important: The treatment of bursitis will be more complete with a correctly diagnosed diagnosis, which is assisted by ultrasonic diagnostics and examination by a thermal imager.

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Disease number 2:  Tendonitis

The term “tendonitis” (other names – ligament or tendonosis) consists of two Latin roots: “tendo” and “itis” – tendon and inflammation. It means inflammation of the tendons, which most often, especially in athletes, affects the tendon of the patella and nearby tissues.

Inflammation occurs at the point of contact between bone and tendon, and sometimes – along the tendon.

The disease can affect the joint at any age, regardless of gender, but most often it affects:

  1. people after 40 years;
  2. athletes;
  3. people engaged in manual labor with a load on their knees;
  4. children and adolescents.

More often the disease affects the knee of the jogging leg, but it can also damage both. Large physical exertion causes microscopic damage. With sufficient rest they heal, tissues are restored. Otherwise, microtrauma, accumulating, lead to the degeneration of the tendons and the development of fatigue injuries, which include tendonitis of the knee joint. Tendonitis can also affect people who spend a long time in an uncomfortable position. The disease can begin with: Tendobursita (inflammation of the tendon bag); Tendovaginitis (inflammation of the tendon sheath). Tendonitis of the ligaments of the knee joint is sometimes confused with the stretching of the knee tendons and ligaments.

There are the following types of tendinitis:

  • acute (aseptic and purulent);
  • chronic (fibrous and ossifying, arising from the deposition of salts).

As a result of the disease, the mechanical strength of the patellar ligament is reduced, as a result of which a partial or complete rupture can occur.

Causes of Tendonitis

  • injuries and multiple micro-injuries;
  • fungal and bacterial infections;
  • diseases such as rheumatoid polyarthritis or gout;
  • allergic reactions to medications;
  • anatomical features (different lengths of legs, flat feet);
  • wearing uncomfortable shoes;
  • violation of posture;
  • deforming arthrosis;
  • instability and hypermobility of the knee;
  • weakening of immunity;
  • degenerative age-related changes in tendons;
  • muscle imbalance;
  • parasitic damage to the body.

In accordance with the cause of the disease (lack or presence of an infectious component), two types of tendinitis are allocated: non-infectious (aseptic) tendonitis; infectious tendonitis. Determining the cause of the disease is a decisive factor in the appointment of treatment, which as quickly as possible leads to a complete cure. Provocative factors may be long-term use of glucocorticoids and systemic diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, chronic renal failure, systemic lupus erythematosus, diabetes mellitus. Symptoms and signs of the disease

Symptoms

  • sudden pain in the inflamed and nearby areas;
  • limitation of mobility in the joint;
  • increased sensitivity during palpation;
  • redness and swelling in the affected area;
  • creaking of the joint when moving.
  • a sudden sharp pain can occur when climbing the stairs and getting up off the stool.

Typical symptoms are easily detected with a thorough examination of the knee and palpation of the attachment of the ligaments to the knee. With deep localization of the process, pain occurs when the ligament is deeply punctured.

Treatment

  • medicamentous agents;
  • physiotherapeutic methods;
  • surgically;
  • natural remedies;
  • physiotherapy exercises.

Diseases at 1, 2 and even 3-rd stages are susceptible to conservative methods of treatment. First of all, you should limit the load on the joint or even completely immobilize it. To reduce the load on the knee using crutches or a stick, and to immobilize the knee gypsum or wear a langette on it.

Important: A combination of physiotherapy procedures and medications should be used.

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Disease number 3: Meniscopathy

Meniscopathy of the knee joint is a difficult to diagnose injury to the knee, which occurs due to bruises, stretching or secondary injuries of the joint. With any sudden movement, separation or crushing of the knee meniscus may occur. Repeated occurrence of meniscopathy can lead to the formation of deforming arthrosis.

Symptoms

The clinical picture of a meniscus injury involves an acute and chronic stage of the disease. In chronic period, difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms are present nonspecific reactive inflammation that occur in other joints injuries.

  • Local pain in the affected area along the joint space;
  • Sharp restriction of mobility;
  • Presence of effusion or hemarthrosis.

After extinction of the reactive phenomena after 2-3 weeks flow subacute period occurs true picture of the disease, characterized by a number of typical clinical symptoms in the presence of an appropriate mechanism of injury and anamnesis: Capsules infiltration, local pain and blockade of joint effusion.

Treatment

Treatment of meniscopathy of the knee depends on the severity of the disease, but initially the conservative therapy is prescribed. Arthroscopic surgery is indicated if there is blockage of the knee joint, as well as when the meniscus ruptures. If the patient’s condition does not improve after medical treatment, then a surgical operation is mandatory, the purpose of which is to preserve the meniscus. In some cases, it is possible to fuse the affected meniscus by applying a surgical suture performed by the method of arthroscopy.

Important: Young patients can count on self-restoration of the affected area of the meniscus, and older people basically need to remove the affected part.

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Disease number 4: Chondropathy

Chondropathy, or osteochondropathy, is a disease that affects bones and joints, namely the terminal parts of long tubular bones or areas of growth of bone tissue. It often occurs on the lower limbs, as they load much more than the upper ones. The most susceptible to this disease are children and adolescents, whose bones are still in a state of growth and development.

Causes

There are a number of factors that can trigger the development of the disease:

  • limb injuries;
  • weakness of the superficial muscles of the thigh, serving to stabilize it in the desired position;
  • congenital anomalous structure of bone tissue;
  • overload in sports;
  • age changes;
  • impaired blood circulation, resulting in a lack of nutrition of cartilage, bone tissue;
  • wearing uncomfortable shoes;
  • hereditary predisposition.

Symptoms

  • pain that occurs with increased loads, external influences;
  • puffiness in the place of the affected area;
  • muscle atrophy, change in their structure;
  • a sound that resembles a crunch, a creak when moving.

 Treatment

This disease can be treated with two methods:

  • The Conservative method: It consists in observing the bed rest, unloading the affected bones and joints by applying a cast bandage. If it is a calcaneal chondropathy, a foot injury, then a gypsum boot should be used. If the disease affects the hip joint, there is also a need for skeletal traction. Chondropathy of the knee joint also involves treatment in the first place in a conservative way. After removal of plaster bandages, the patient is sent to physiotherapy, exercise therapy and a course of massage;
  • The operative method: It implies the treatment of chondropathy through various types of bone-plastic operations. This method is used when the conservative is ineffective.

Important: If you are experiencing the above-mentioned disease,  seek qualified medical attention.

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