Instability of the knee joint

Our normal life depends on many factors, and proper operation of the joints has not the last value. Instability of the knee joint is perhaps one of the most vexing problems that do not allow you to move comfortably. Of course, problems in any other joints have an adverse impact on quality of life, for example, problems of the shoulder joint does not allow you to perform many operations by hand. The knee is a fairly complex structure, stable performance which is caused by the meniscus, condyles and other articular passive elements. Dynamic stability is maintained by ligaments, and muscles that are situated around this joint.

Нестабильность коленного сустава

The appearance of pathology

In the knee there are ligaments and tendons are intertwined. In stable condition the knee hold two cruciate and two collateral ligaments. For an accurate understanding of the causes of instability it is important to distinguish between them. If for any reason they break, then you may be a very serious situation of instability of the joint.

Most often joint instability occurs as a result of injury, sometimes even indirectly. This is the mechanism that triggers the development of pathology, performs non-contact injury resulting from sudden twisting or deceleration. Note that, regardless of who started the development of instability causes damage to any structure that provides stability, over time, causes engagement of formerly intact articular structures in the disease process and its progression. A similar situation is observed in lesions of the structures of the shoulder joint.

The gap stabilizing structures quite often occurs due to excessive load. This is true of many joints, including the shoulder, but most often this traumatic pathology is observed in the knee. Torn ligaments in the knee may be complete or partial. Cause damage to the ligaments become movements, which by their amplitude beyond anatomical possibility. For example: collateral ligament can be torn by excessive adduction or abduction of the tibia. If there is a sharp excessive hyperextension of the tibia, it is possible to injury the posterior cruciate ligament.

Lesions of the ligaments can occur on them (vnutrishkolnoe, partial or full) and on the place where they attach to the bone. In some cases, there is separation of the bone fragment. Quite often, severe trauma leads to damage to the meniscus, which often occurs simultaneously with gap of two cruciate ligaments (Turner’s triad).

Most knee injuries occur in athletes. This is explained by the heavy loads imposed on their knees, and the sharp movements and painful twists.

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The symptoms of instability

Instability of the knee joint can manifest in different forms. Most common are the symptoms.

  • Severe pain with simultaneous detection of synovitis or hemarthrosis in phase of the acute rupture.
  • Slightly damaged capsule, which can manifest positive symptoms (ballotirovalsia and smoothed contours of the patella). In the case of extensive rupture of the capsule, these symptoms are not observed.
  • If there is a tear of the collateral lateral ligament, it is possible to observe the appearance of the hematoma on the inner surface of the knee.
  • Trauma cruciate posterior ligament and rupture of the posterior capsule is there is swelling popliteal area which is simultaneously covered by the hematoma.
  • With the defeat of the front cruciate ligament often occurs abnormal displacement of the tibia forward. The rotation of the joint is improperly designed, there is a disorder of cartilage and menisci. When departing from the knee axis of the latter becomes unstable, resulting in the victim begin to podkashivatsya feet, he could fall while walking or any awkward movements.
  • Damage to the meniscus causes an instability, often causing displacement of the knee with his lock. There are quite a lot of pain. Special difficulties arise when trying to bend or straighten the leg in the lower leg.
  • In medical practice, instability of the knee is seen in its degree, of which there are three.

    Нестабильность коленного сустава

    Degree Symptoms
    In the case of mild There is a slight relaxation of the ligaments, and partial damage to the capsule. The displacement of the surfaces of the joint shall not exceed five millimeters.
    The average instability There is a strong cruciate ligament damage, and the displacement of the articular surfaces can reach ten millimeters.
    Severe degree of instability It is characterized by large displacement of the joint surfaces relative to each other (over one centimeter), it breaks one or both cruciate ligaments.

    The main symptoms of injury to any ligaments, including damage to the shoulder joint – a violation of the limb.

    Diagnosis of the disease

    To detect instability of the knee in a medical institution is carried out by special testing. An experienced doctor examines the symptoms, examines applicants and his leg, and emphasis on appearance, and maps the location of the ligaments. Upon detection of a hematoma in the joint cavity analgesic, helping to relax muscles and reduce pain. At the same time can be implemented articular puncture.

    Accurate diagnosis can be made after carrying out x-ray, CT scan or MRI. In some cases diagnosis pathology is performed using arthroscopy. The study of x-ray allows evaluation of the knee joint. It is possible to detect degenerative changes and determine the status of bone mass.

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    In addition, at the time of diagnosis and determined the degree of instability. To determine which present the degree of instability experienced doctor can according to the corner offsets. Mild displacement does not exceed five degrees, with an average of eight, and severe – more than eight degrees. After careful consideration of all symptoms and the results of the survey of the pathology, the doctor will prescribe treatment.

    It is important to start treatment immediately, observing all recommendations and prescription. Only in this case, the probability of preserving the health of the knee is quite high.


    The treatment is assigned depending on the results of the examinations, the patient’s age and lifestyle. Treatment can have different duration, is directly dependent on the degree of damage of the joint, the difference in duration can be quite significant: from several weeks to several months. The primary targets of therapeutic treatment is to restore full movement of the joint without recourse to surgery.

    However, not always a treatment can show positive result. If there is often a lunge of the knee with severe damage to the ligaments, it is necessary to resort to the help of a surgeon, while postoperative recovery lasts at least six months. The same applies to the shoulder joint.

    Conservative treatment methods may be performed in the diagnosis of mild or moderate degree of instability. When severe instability is recommended only surgery. Conservative treatment of instability of the knee typically involves the following activities.

  • Fixation of the limb with a splint (can be applied bandages or splints).
  • Treatment non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Physiotherapy, which includes electrophoresis and UHF.
  • Cryotherapy (cold therapy).
  • A course of massage, improves blood circulation and cell regeneration.
  • Physical therapy special exercises that help restore mobility and maintain muscle tone.
  • The list of remedial measures is not original, almost the same treatment when other pathologies of the large joints, for example, shoulder. In some cases, even in light of the instability, conservative therapy does not achieve a positive result. The solution is only surgery. The operation is performed and the torn ligaments, for which restoration is assigned to arthroscopy. Postoperative rehabilitation includes physical therapy, massage and some other treatments.

    Full motion leg will recover in about six months. Do not think that it is too long term for treatment of shoulder joint is by no means the less time.

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    Complications and prevention

    Loss of any joint of the shoulder, knee or other – must be treated without delay. Otherwise improperly operating cords quickly enough will lead to displacement of the articular surfaces. With the defeat of the knee the patient will always have to move cautiously because any careless movement can lead to very serious injury. If there is pathology of the shoulder joint, then care will have to work the damaged hand.

    Basically what you need to remember: if after the detection of pathology not to carry out any remedial measures, it is possible to sufficiently rapid progress of the symptoms of instability and transform it into a more severe degree. If you start treatment on time, that in many cases can be limited to therapeutic treatment. A complication of the disease often requires surgical intervention.

    Speaking about instability of the knee and its causes, it is impossible not to mention the fact that it is much easier to prevent disease than to treat it long after the event. In principle, preventive measures are fairly simple. Naturally, the strengthening of the body will have a positive impact on the resilience of the joints injury. So the first thing to do is to balance your diet. The body must come from food a sufficient amount of calcium, potassium, iron and other minerals. With properly balanced nutrition can significantly improve the functioning of bone tissue and to increase metabolism.

    Following that it is recommended to do to prevent that is to get moderate exercise, which strengthens muscles and develops joints that are able to withstand heavy loads. Well, in the case of professional sports, it is recommended to use special bandages and other devices that protect the knees from injury.

    Performing simple tips can often avoid injuries to not only the knee, but other joints, particularly the shoulder.