pain in knee osteoarthritis

Most often, this disease occurs in elderly patients (especially women). Pain in the joints with gonarthrosis is caused by dystrophic changes in the cartilage, which covers the intra-articular surface of the bones. First, blood circulation in the vessels that feed the cartilage worsens. Then the cartilaginous coating begins to thin, completely erased. The bones in the knee joint are exposed. As a result, while walking, they rub against each other, severe pain occurs.

Over the years, bony growths begin to appear in the joints. They provoke the development of deformities, bent legs.

Causes of gonarthrosis

Gonarthrosis of the knee joint occurs for various reasons. It is customary to distinguish two forms:

  • main;
  • secondary.

Primary gonarthrosis usually develops in older people. The occurrence is caused by:

  • violation of metabolic processes;
  • obesity;
  • hereditary predisposition;
  • take hormonal drugs.

The main form affects two knee joints at once and is called bilateral gonarthrosis. But there are cases when the first inflammatory process covers one knee and only after a few years pass to the second.

Secondary gonarthrosis, on the other hand, is always one-sided. It is known as:

  • physical work and heavy sports, putting a load on the right or left knee joint;
  • trauma (ligament rupture, dislocation, bleeding in the knee joint cavity, damage to the meniscus, intra-articular fracture, etc. ).
  • operations performed on the knee joint;
  • joint inflammation/swelling.

Symptoms of gonarthrosis

Among the common symptoms of gonarthrosis of the knee joint are:

  • severe pain in the knee when moving;
  • knee dysfunction;
  • swelling of the knee joint;
  • lameness
  • joint stiffness;
  • instability in the affected joint.

Deformation (curvature) of the foot is also characteristic of the final stages of the disease.

In most cases, gonarthrosis develops slowly and continues through four consecutive stages.

Gonarthrosis of the knee joint of the first stage is characterized by the following features:

  • Absent knee pain when going up/down stairs, when squatting.
  • "Starting" pain at the beginning of the movement.
  • Mobility restrictions.
  • Loss of discomfort when the patient "diverges".
  • Knee pain after heavy physical exercise.
  • Knees appear healthy or slightly swollen.
  • There may be manifestations of synovitis (inflammation of the inner layer, due to fluid starting to form in the joint).

Bilateral gonarthrosis of the knee joint of the second degree has the following symptoms:

  • The pain became stronger.
  • Discomfort increases sharply when squatting, walking.
  • The pain is localized on the inside of the knee and gradually disappears during rest.
  • Crunchy in the knees.
  • The joint expands, fluid begins to accumulate in it (synovitis).
  • Intra-articular fluid can fill the popliteal fossa at the back of the joint (Baker's cyst).
  • To the touch, individual articular zones are warm.
  • After warming up, the stiffness may disappear.
  • The shape of the leg in the knee area changes (there is curvature).

For gonarthrosis of the third degree, the following symptoms are characteristic:

  • Pain disturbs day and night, while resting and while walking. Patients need to find a position to reduce the severity of pain symptoms.
  • Joints are difficult to flex and bend. He is limited in movement. Legs cannot be fully straightened.
  • An O or X-shaped defect on the bottom can form.
  • The knee joint increases significantly in size, changes shape. There is significant synovitis.
  • The patient's gait becomes unstable, wobbly, he needs to use a stick / cane, use external assistance during movement.

There is also a fourth degree of gonarthrosis of the knee joint. Clinically, orthopedic specialists refer to the third stage of the disease. It can only be determined by taking an x-ray.

In the fourth stage, the articular surfaces of the bones change shape so that there is almost no gap between them, without which movement is impossible. The patient has constant pain.

If you experience similar symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. It is easier to prevent disease than to deal with its consequences.

Diagnosis of gonarthrosis of the knee joint

Diagnosis of the disease includes questioning the patient, examining the inflamed joint, checking its volume, assessing mobility. If gonarthrosis is suspected, the orthopedic specialist prescribes instrumental methods:

  • Radiography. With gonarthrosis, radiographs show narrowing of cracks, rarefaction of bone tissue and its compaction under cartilage, hardening of articular cartilage. Perhaps the presence of osteophytes - bony growths running along the edges of the cartilage.
  • Ultrasound diagnosis of the knee joint.
  • arthroscopy. During the study, the surgeon inserts a special microvideo camera connected to an arthroscope into the joint through a puncture. Images of all parts of the study area appear on the screen.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It makes it possible to assess the extent of damage to the knee joint.
  • Blood tests are an additional diagnostic method and do not always provide a complete picture of the clinical picture. The fact is that with gonarthrosis, signs of inflammation in the blood may not be determined.

Treatment of gonarthrosis of the knee joint


In the treatment of gonarthrosis of the knee joint, the following groups of drugs are used:

  • anti-inflammatory;
  • painkillers;
  • chondoprotectors (ensuring the restoration of destroyed cartilage tissue).

The release form is different - ointment, cream, gel, tablet, capsule, intra-articular and intramuscular injection.


Pathological orthopedic treatment involves the use of special devices to minimize the load on diseased joints:

  • orthopedic insoles for shoes
  • orthosis (a special rigid knee pad that limits movement in the diseased joint),
  • stick


Surgical methods are used in the treatment of gonarthrosis of the knee joint of the third degree. Indications for endoprosthetics are:

  • uncontrollable pain,
  • significant dysfunction in the knee and hip joints.

The time spent on implantation is 2-3 hours. Before installing the prosthesis, the destroyed part of the joint and the back of the patella are removed, the axis of the foot is aligned. Ligaments are restored if necessary. When the endoprosthesis installation is made, the wound is sutured.

In the first hour after surgery, due to anesthesia, the patient does not feel the lower part of the leg. The recovery period is long - 3-4 months.

It is impossible to perform an arthroplasty operation if the patient suffers from osteoporosis (brittleness and fragility of bones).

Additional methods of treatment of gonarthrosis

With gonarthrosis, as an additional method of treatment, the following can be used:

  • manual therapy;
  • massage;
  • acupuncture;
  • hirudotherapy;
  • physiotherapy;
  • exercise therapy.

Exercise therapy for gonarthrosis

Exercises for gonarthrosis of the knee joint are selected individually. Their regular implementation allows you to strengthen the muscles surrounding the inflamed joint, improving blood circulation in the pathological area. They should be done lying on your back or sitting.

In the first days, therapeutic exercises for gonarthrosis of the knee joint should take no more than 10 minutes. Gradually, class time should be brought up to half an hour. It is important to perform all movements smoothly, to ensure that the pain does not increase.

General training includes:

  • Raise the straightened leg up to a height of 15-20 cm from the floor and hold it in this position for the maximum amount of time.
  • Raise the straightened leg to a height of 15-20 cm and gradually lower it to its original position.
  • Flexion and extension of the legs, sitting on a chair.

Any squats and long walks are contraindicated without prior consultation with an orthopedic specialist.

Features of treatment of gonarthrosis depend on the stage of the disease

Treatment of knee joint gonarthrosis of the first stage

The first stage of the disease is the easiest. Patients are assigned:

  • massage
  • Physiotherapy.
  • Physiotherapy procedures.

In the presence of obesity, weight loss is necessary. For this, a special diet is observed.

Treatment of gonarthrosis of the knee joint of the second degree

Comprehensive pathology treatment includes:

  • Do the exercises recommended by the therapist.
  • Taking anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs, chondoprotectors, introducing hyaluronic acid into the joints.
  • Phytotherapeutic procedures (if there is no significant inflammatory process).
  • Normalization of body weight.

Treatment of gonarthrosis of the third degree

The therapeutic treatment of the third stage pathology is similar to the measures used in the second stage of the disease. However, if there is no expected effect, the patient is recommended a surgical method.

If we talk about the beginning of the third degree, it is possible to remove part of the damaged cartilage and bone growth. Using an arthroscope, the doctor examines the cavity of the knee joint and examines how significant the problem is.

If an area of healthy tissue is preserved, a corrective osteotomy is indicated. During this operation, the doctor corrects the shape of the bone by breaking the bone. Then he installs a special plate that allows you to fix the limb in the correct position.

The second method of surgical treatment is endoprosthetics - surgery to replace the entire knee joint or its individual parts with a prosthesis.

Treatment of gonarthrosis of the knee joint with folk remedies

Folk recipes help to achieve good results only in stages 1 and 2 of the disease. When the cartilage tissue is destroyed and the joints are severely damaged, they are helpless.

ficus tincture

The solution is prepared according to the recipe:

  • Skip ficus leaves through a meat grinder.
  • Place in a glass dish.
  • Add 100 ml of vodka.
  • Close the lid and let it infuse for 3 weeks.
  • Store the prepared liquid in the refrigerator. Rub the joint with tincture once a day for 10 days.

Clay compresses

  • Place the blue/red clay in a glass container.
  • Dilute with water to the consistency of sour cream.
  • Apply clay on a linen / cotton cloth about 1. 5-2 cm thick.
  • Apply to the affected joints.
  • Secure with a bandage and wrap with a towel.
  • Make a compress 2-3 times a day. The treatment period is 1. 5 weeks.

Dandelion colored

  • Fill a glass bottle with dandelion flowers.
  • Top with triple cologne.
  • Close the lid.
  • Put for a month in a dark place.
  • After the specified period of time, filter the color. Rub his knees 2 times a day.

apple cider vinegar for knee arthritis

  • Mix 6 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 2 tablespoons of natural honey.
  • Apply the mixture to the joint area.
  • Top with cabbage leaves.
  • Wrap with plastic wrap and a scarf.
  • It is better to use the compress at night. Remove after complete drying of the leaves. The course of treatment is about 4 weeks.

Garlic with celery and lemon

  • 250 g celery, 120 g garlic, chopped 3 lemons, mix. Transfer to a three-liter jar, pour boiling water.
  • Cover with a warm blanket.
  • After cooling, the agent should be consumed 70 ml before meals, first 1 time a day, after a few days - 2-3 times a day.

Diet for gonarthrosis

Nutrition for gonarthrosis of the knee joint is aimed at normalizing body weight, fighting obesity, and filling the body with nutrients. If the patient manages to lose weight, the pain becomes less noticeable, because there is less pressure on the joints. In this case, you should not starve or use the help of a mono-diet. Nutrition must be balanced.

Protein helps restore intra-articular cartilage. Their patients can get from lean meat, cheese, cottage cheese, fish, lentils, beans, buckwheat. Useful for gonarthrosis jelly made from bone broth, because it contains a lot of collagen.

Carbohydrates should be obtained by eating vegetables and fruits. Fats should be mostly vegetable. A small amount of butter is allowed. Vitamins, especially group B, are very important to improve the patient's condition. It is found in eggs, beans, bananas, dairy products, cabbage, beans, and lentils.

Alcohol with gonarthrosis of the knee joint is prohibited. It not only has a negative effect on the body as a whole, but also increases appetite, which is undesirable.

The danger of gonarthrosis

With gonarthrosis of the first and second degree, we are not talking about deformity. The third stage of the disease can make the patient disabled, when joint function is completely lost and unaided movement becomes impossible.

It should be understood that gonarthrosis is a chronic pathology that is constantly developing. In order for the prognosis to be good, the selection of efficient drugs and regular exercise are necessary.

Risk group for gonarthrosis

Risk groups for gonarthrosis include:

  • professional dancer;
  • athletes;
  • builder, loader, miner;
  • people with hereditary predisposition;
  • people with obesity;
  • with postural disturbances;
  • suffered a fracture;
  • with defects of the ligament-articular apparatus;
  • suffering from hormonal, rheumatoid and metabolic diseases.

Prevention of gonarthrosis

To reduce the risk of developing gonarthrosis of the knee joint, the following recommendations should be followed:

  • do physical education;
  • avoid excessive physical activity;
  • control weight;
  • get qualified medical help for injuries, arthritis;
  • do not be too cold (if there is a problem, it is recommended to wear warm knee pads);
  • drink 2 liters of water a day;
  • wear comfortable shoes;
  • avoid stressful situations.

This article is posted for educational purposes only and does not constitute scientific material or professional medical advice.