Knee arthrosis symptoms

Arthrosis of the knee joint (gonarthrosis) is a degenerative disease in which cartilage thinning occurs. According to statistics, every fifth inhabitant of the planet suffers from this pathology. This article will discuss the main causes of arthrosis, its symptoms at each stage, as well as methods of diagnosis and treatment.

Causes of occurrence

Every day, the knee joints are under great strain when walking. After all, they have to withstand the weight of the whole body. As a result, there is a gradual wear of the cartilage tissue, which is the cause of pathological changes in the knees.

The risk group includes people:

  • old age,
  • overweight,
  • having osteoporosis and metabolic disorders,
  • have ever suffered a knee injury,
  • representing certain professions,
  • suffering from micronutrient deficiencies,
  • involved in heavy sports.
causes of arthrosis of the knee joint

In most people over the age of 40, it is possible to detect the presence of arthrosis in the second or later stages of development.

The main symptoms

Of course, changes in cartilage tissue cannot pass without symptoms. With an illness, a person may complain about:

  • feeling of discomfort in the knee area after waking up or sitting for a long time,
  • pain in the legs after a long standing position,
  • burning sensation when going uphill and up stairs,
  • weakness in the legs after light exertion, as well as at the end of the day.
  • Some patients experience pain even at night while sleeping.

Important!The disease does not appear abruptly, it develops over many years. Pain in the early stages may be insignificant, but over time, there is a persistent increase.

Arthrosis of the knee joint 1 degree

At this stage, gonarthrosis is just beginning to develop, therefore, for a person, the process is almost asymptomatic. However, some signs can still be noticed.

A person often begins to feel tiredness in the legs, to notice a slight decrease in the mobility of one or two knee joints. This phenomenon is especially characteristic in the morning, in the first minutes after waking up.

As a rule, the diagnosis of the disease at this stage occurs by chance, during the passage of an X-ray. On it, the doctor may notice some irregularities in the cartilage tissue. It is also possible to narrow the gap between the parts of the joint.

Arthrosis of the knee joint of the 2nd degree

The pathology of the knee joint begins to manifest itself more pronounced. The appearance of pain syndrome is characteristic, which is provoked by any additional load on the joint.

REFERENCE.At this stage, the pain goes away on its own, after a long rest.

In addition, during the second stage, symptoms such as:

  • crunching with certain movements. It can be observed in one or both knees. The crunch may be barely noticeable, but gradually it becomes coarse, loud and very distinct.
  • Decreased ability to fully bend the knee. Some people can do this only up to an angle of 90 degrees, then an unpleasant sensation appears, and they are forced to stop.
  • Some patients with stage 2 gonarthrosis begin to complain of sharp pain that occurs when the knee is bent.
  • A change in the shape of the knee joint is possible, it becomes wider, swells. This is due to the accumulation of abnormal fluid.
signs and symptoms of knee arthrosis

If you find discomfort in the knee area, you need to see a doctor so that he can prescribe the right treatment.

Knee arthrosis grade 3

  • At this stage, very strong structural changes in the cartilage are observed in the joint image. Large growths appear on it.
  • The curvature of the affected leg is noted. It acquires a 0-shaped or X-shaped bend, which becomes a serious obstacle to the patient's full life. As a result, a person can become disabled.
  • A characteristic phenomenon of stage 3 of the disease is severe pain, which can be observed constantly, intensifying after any, even minor, load.
  • A person notices the sensitivity of the joint to weather changes. Now, when a cyclone approaches, the knee aches, pulling sensations arise in it.
manifestations of arthrosis of the knee joint

As we age, joints begin to respond to changes in weather and pressure.

Knee arthrosis grade 4

It is the extreme, final stage of the disease, in which the gap between the bones is completely absent.

REFERENCE.Most orthopedists classify the fourth stage as the third. This is due to the similarity of symptoms and the complexity of timely diagnosis.

Since there is no gap, movement of the joint is simply impossible.

In addition, the patient suffers from unbearable, constant pain, which is relieved only by strong pain relievers. But after a time, when the action of the pill or injection stops, the unpleasant symptom reappears.


The examination of the patient begins with his seeking help from a specialist. They can be a therapist or orthopedist.

The doctor listens to complaints, collects anamnesis, conducts an examination. First of all, he will be interested in external changes in the joint, limitation of mobility in its area.

methods for diagnosing knee arthrosis

X-rays will help identify abnormalities in the cartilage tissue.

When probing, the patient complains of the appearance of unpleasant sensations, and when the patella is shifted, a crunch is heard.

Important!A diagnosis is impossible after one visual examination by a doctor, even if all the signs of the disease are present. Only a comprehensive examination allows you to give an accurate answer about the pathology occurring in the knee area.

After examination, the doctor prescribes an X-ray to the patient. This is the main method for diagnosing arthrosis of the knee joint of any degree.

An x-ray gives the doctor an idea of the changes occurring in the cartilage tissue of the joint. However, in some cases, the initial stage may not be identified in the image.

If necessary, the doctor may prescribe a second X-ray or computed and magnetic resonance imaging.


When diagnosing gonarthrosis, immediate treatment should be started. This will help stop the progression of the pathology, preventing many complications.

Disease therapy pursues several goals at once. Namely:

  • elimination of pain syndrome,
  • decrease in the severity of other symptoms,
  • maximum possible restoration of the affected cartilage and joint ligaments,
  • increased limb mobility.

Treatment of the disease includes methods such as:

  • drug therapy,
  • massage, osteopathy, manual therapy,
  • surgical intervention,
  • therapeutic and prophylactic physical education,
  • physiotherapy.

Medicinal assistance

REFERENCE.Drug therapy is the main treatment for the disease. However, it is most successful when combined with other methods.

The drugs used for the treatment of gonarthrosis include:

  1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs- relieve the patient from pain, relieve inflammation. These drugs are symptomatic without affecting the cause of the disease. They fight only with its manifestations, bringing temporary relief.
  2. Chondroprotectors- restore cartilage tissue. However, the effect is not immediately noticeable. The drugs have cumulative (accumulative) properties, so the body needs time for their full impact.
  3. Hormonal drugs.Prescribed, as a rule, at advanced stages of the disease. These funds can quickly relieve swelling and inflammation of the tissues around the joint. The disadvantage of this class of drugs is the systemic effect on the body, in which many undesirable side reactions are possible. They are prescribed only in one-time courses, during an exacerbation of the process.
  4. Important!It is permissible to inject drugs into the joint space no more than 1 time in 7-10 days.

  5. External medicinesdesigned to relieve pain. Available in the form of an ointment, cream.
  6. Hyaluronic acid.It is a new solution in the treatment of gonarthrosis. It is an intra-articular injection of an agent that nourishes the joint. Has a fairly high efficiency. However, the method is characterized by such disadvantages as: the possibility of using only at the initial stages of the disease and the high cost of the drug.


Massage, as well as manual and osteopathic treatment are aimed at:

  • elimination of pain,
  • overcoming stiffness in knee movements,
  • improvement of blood supply at the site of cartilage damage,
  • providing nutrients and oxygen to the area of inflammation.

REFERENCE.Massages and similar procedures should only be performed by a trained person. Otherwise, you can harm and aggravate the condition of the joint.

Surgical intervention

It is an extreme measure in the treatment of arthrosis, when the disease is extremely advanced and other methods of therapy are powerless. The most commonly used endoprosthetics, in which the affected joint is replaced by an implant.

Prosthetics can be of two types:

  1. complete - the entire joint is replaced,
  2. partial - only the most worn part of the articular joint is subject to replacement.

Contraindications to prosthetics are:

  • chronic purulent infections;
  • neuromuscular disorders;
  • vein pathology;
  • a number of cardiovascular diseases.

Another option is corrective osteotomy. In this method, a plate is inserted into the joint to relieve pressure on the affected area of the knee.

Exercise therapy

It is the regular and correct performance of a series of physical exercises aimed at strengthening the joint and restoring its mobility.

This procedure can be performed independently at home, having previously consulted a specialist.


Following simple rules will prevent the occurrence or aggravation of the destruction of cartilage tissue. For this you need:

  • Follow a diet. This will help control body weight, provide the body with all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
  • Stick to certain sports while giving up others. The fact is that with gonarthrosis, excessive loads on the knees are extremely undesirable. For this reason, running and jumping is best replaced with cycling, swimming or water aerobics.
  • Perform remedial gymnastics regularly.
  • Wear comfortable and orthopedically correct footwear. It is unacceptable to wear stilettos and high heels, flat soles, preferring shoes with a small heel.

Knee arthrosis is a fairly common disease that can go unnoticed for a long time. Despite the asymptomatic onset, gonarthrosis can lead to serious complications, up to and including disability. Therefore, it is so important to timely diagnose and start the necessary treatment.