Knee osteoarthritis is a chronic disease characterized by progressive deterioration of cartilage in knees. This deterioration leads to the appearance of pain during physical activity, inability to walk or stand, as well as progressive deformity of the knee.
Osteoarthritis in general is the most common disease in the field of rheumatology. In fact, after 50 years of age, almost everyone has osteoarthritis on radiographs, but, fortunately, only a small portion have symptoms of osteoarthritis. Thus, it is important to distinguish between osteoarthritic demonstrations in radiology osteoarthritis as a disease.
Causes of knee osteoarthritis
Health joint cartilage, in this case the knee, depends on chondrocytes (cartilage cells within) and subchondral bone (bone beneath the cartilage). When these have impaired, cartilage deteriorates and thinning, so that it loses its elasticity and pressure resistance. This condition is related to aging, because it is very common among people over 50 years.
There are two types of osteoarthritis of the knee according to their origin:
- Primary knee osteoarthritis: the specific cause is unknown, but there are some still unproven genetic conditions that could explain why it is easier than degenerating articular cartilage from certain age.
- Arthrosis secondary knee injury or upon failure of the knee, as ligament injuries, meniscus, bone joint, overexertion on the joint (especially in athletes or people with obesity), intraarticular bone fractures, or changes in alignment must be knee or leg length.
Symptoms of knee osteoarthritis
At first, the main symptoms that occur are:
- - Pain after spending a long time standing or walking
- - Pain especially when doing activities such as climbing stairs, walking on uneven ground or rising from a chair
As the disease progresses, other symptoms may occur:
- Pain increasingly early when walking or standing
- Pain and stiffness when trying to get up after spending time sitting
- Swelling and heating of the knee (not to be confused with the general swelling that occurs when standing a long time being)
- Alteration of knee alignment (especially getting in)
Diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis
Arthrosis thanks to adequate medical history (patient interview), a joint exploration and observation of X-rays diagnosed. In some cases also it needs to remove joint fluid accumulated inside the knee to analyze it, make sure their own characteristics osteoarthritis and, above all, rule out joint disease caused by microscopic crystals, as they may have similar clinical manifestations.
Notably, as mentioned above, not all arthritic manifestations radiographs mean that the patient has osteoarthritis, so it is important to correctly carry out the interview and physical examination prior.
Risk factors for osteoarthritis of the knee
First, obesity and poor muscle function can worsen knee osteoarthritis, evolving faster and with more pain. Thus, it is recommended to control calorie intake and follow a varied Mediterranean diet to prevent overweight. Another factor that can worsen the disease is strenuous exercise, such as running or long walks or jump as it accelerates the destruction of cartilage.