Arthropathy of the knee joint: description, symptoms and treatment

Arthropathy of knee joint pathology, characterized by the development of disorders of sensibility and trophic. This is a consequence of the initial lesions of the nervous system. Arthropathy often develops on the background of diseases such as tabes of the spinal cord, syringomyelia, psoriasis etc.

Артропатия коленного сустава: описание, симптомы и лечение

What is the knee joint

Arthropathy of the knee joint in medical terminology also known as reactive arthropathy. It is often accompanied by osteochondropathy spine and defeat other major and minor joints. Given the etiology of these diseases, they are treated in a similar way. It should be noted that during the development of reactive arthropathies can be affected from 2 to 5 joints, and in rare cases and a greater number of cartilaginous joints. Reactive arthropathy does not occur very often. It can develop, unfortunately, as children and adults.

Given the nature and speed of the joint damage, it is important to distinguish this disease from arthritis caused by traumatic, infectious, toxic or other injury. These two diseases have many similar symptoms, which makes diagnosis and pushes the appointment of adequate treatment. Most patients do not feel significant pain that would be characteristic of the rapid progression of the disease, but not asymptomatic arthropathy.


Symptoms of the disease

It should highlight the most typical signs of the disease:

  • The increase of the diseased joint. This is a consequence of edema, in which synovial and lymphatic fluids begin to accumulate not only within the joint but in the surrounding soft tissues.
  • The growth of the articular edges of the bones. Has seen a rapid increase not only bone tissue but also the edges of the articular bone, ie the formation of osteophytes (outgrowths). This happens because of the desire of the body to fill existing joint damage. The expansion of the edges of the bone also affects the increase in the size of the knee joint.
  • Severe deformity of the joint. Occurs due to changes in the structure of bones and excessive pressure accumulated in the joint fluid. Most of the patients leg with the deformation in the knee region is shifted inward so the feet are becoming a cross-shaped form.
  • Pain. Some patients do not experience severe discomfort in the process of development of arthropathy. Still, under certain conditions, the pain may manifest itself, for example, during physical activity. At rest pain when arthropathies are observed.
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    Артропатия коленного сустава: описание, симптомы и лечение

    Additional symptoms is fever, tenderness of the knee on palpation. The joint area becomes hot to the touch, there is a stiffness in the movements. Such chondropathy the knee joint can cause deterioration of General health.

    Arthropathy can occur in mild or severe form. In the initial stages, the patient remains some mobility of the limb. The pain symptoms when walking is relatively minimal, though the person feels some discomfort.

    Some patients fear movement raises fears that the vertical position of the body and increased stress on the joint can lead to traumatic injury. With the development of the disease a person feels progressive stiffness, which subsequently can be total, i.e. the joint fully loses physical ability.

    The rate of destruction of the knee is one of the most characteristic features of the arthropathy. Pathology of the knee joint may develop in record time, that is just a couple of days or hours.


    The causes and mechanisms of development of disease

    Arthropathy typically not an independent disease, and develops on the background of other diseases affecting nerves. As an adult, and the child’s arthropathy of the knee joint can be observed on the background of the pathology of the spinal cord or brain, and in rare cases, and peripheral nerves. Some researchers arthropathy note the possibility of a genetic predisposition to the appearance of this pathology. However, currently there is no reliable evidence to support the existence of defective genes.

    Артропатия коленного сустава: описание, симптомы и лечение

    Arthropathy is more common in people older than 60 years. It arises on the occurrence of oxygen free radicals in the human body, slowing down metabolism and other processes occurring in the body during the aging of its systems. There are a number of diseases which can develop complications such as arthropathy of the knee joint:

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  • Brucellosis. The disease occurs acutely with severe lesions of the spine and large joints. Usually the source of infection brucellosis is a livestock.
  • Systemic vasculitis. Most often, to the development of reactive arthropathies causes Takayasu’s syndrome, Kawasaki disease, Wegener’s granulomatosis and angitis allergic etiology.
  • Lyme Disease. This disease develops on the background of the bite of the tick Ixodes, leading to transmissible infection and systemic allergic reactions.
  • Reiter Syndrome.
  • Neuro-arthritic diathesis.
  • Rubella and vaccination against this disease. Generally, the occurrence of complications such as arthropathy of the knee joint can be observed in the case of vaccination at a later age than is necessary.
  • In rare instances, the arthropathy may appear on the background of infectious diseases such as mumps and infectious mononucleosis. The speed of development of arthropathy depends on what changes occur in the nerve fibers under the influence of the underlying disease.

    Often the damage to the knee joint accompanied by such pathology as osteochondropathy spine. It can damage various parts of the spine. The most commonly suffer from cervical and lumbar, while osteochondropathy of the thoracic spine is less common.


    The main methods of diagnosis

    Артропатия коленного сустава: описание, симптомы и лечение

    One of the most reliable methods of diagnosis — MRI

    Despite the fact that the description of the disease in the medical literature adequately reflects the processes occurring in the knee joint with arthropathy, nevertheless each case has its peculiarities which must be considered when assigning treatment. Immediately it is worth noting that the treatment at home or solely national means in this case is unacceptable, as it will inevitably lead to full incapacitation of the joint. At the first signs of swelling of the knee should seek medical help.

    To confirm the diagnosis it is necessary to conduct such tests and studies as:

    • ECG;
    • urinalysis;
    • tests for the presence of pathogenic microflora;
    • clinical blood tests for the detection of the increase of ESR;
    • tests for the presence of rheumatoid factor;
    • radiography;
    • MRI.

    The analysis allows to identify the presence of pathogens that can cause systemic autoimmune processes, and also to see the specifics of the nerve damage. When defining methods for the treatment of arthropathy is important to identify the cause of the disease as it affects the selection of medicines.


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    Methods of treatment of arthropathy

    Conservative treatment of arthropathy has two main vectors: therapy of articular syndrome and eliminate the bacterial component or the underlying disease. As a rule, all patients prescribed 7-day course of antibiotics. In addition, there may be recommended drugs for the treatment of the acute phase of the underlying disease. This is necessary because most of the syndromes that cause arthropathy, are chronic diseases that require long complex treatment.

    To save the joints and decrease the negative symptoms, all patients are advised rest with fixation of the diseased joint. As a rule, the duration of the active phase of treatment is 4 to 6 months, followed by a time for rehabilitation. Rehabilitation of the joint, as well as the treatment of arthropathy, causing damage may vary depending on the etiology of the disease. Therefore, all measures aimed at restoring the functionality of the joint, must be agreed with the doctor.

    As a rule, to restore mobility of the knee using special physical exercises, aimed at smooth change of the position of the joint. Such systematic passive and active motion significantly accelerate the process of resumption of the joint. In addition to special exercises can be assigned to water treatments as well as electrotherapy.

    Predict how fully restored function of the joint, is very difficult. In some cases, after therapy the mobility of the knee joint are able to return completely, while in other patients, residual symptoms and lameness persist for life.