4 Key points on knee osteoarthritis

Written by: Dr. Manuel Romero Jurado
Published: | Updated: 12/11/2018
Edited by: Top Doctors®

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.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection
Dr. Manuel Romero Jurado

By Dr. Manuel Romero Jurado

Dr. Romero Jurado is a prestigious medical specialist in rheumatology with nearly 15 years of experience. Graduating in 1995, then he made a specialty of rheumatology at the "Reina Sofía" Hospital of Cordoba. Later, in 2003, a doctorate in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Cordoba, obtaining the highest qualification "Cum Laude", to read his doctoral thesis "evolutionary study of a cohort of patients with undifferentiated connective tissue disease." Currently, she combines her clinical work as a rheumatologist in the "Hospital of Jaen" with private medicine in several centers of Cordoba and Jaen. It has also developed teaching and research work, has published several books, a dozen scientific papers and communications over a hundred national and international conferences. In his excellent work as a clinical rheumatologist, adds his extensive experience in the evaluation Bodily Injury, Medical and Disability Assessment Reports.


*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection