What is Gonarthrosis?
Osteoarthritis of the knee, better known as Gonarthrosis, is a degenerative damage of the cartilaginous tissue that covers the bony surfaces. The cartilage layer has the important function of preventing friction and ensuring a smooth movement of the joint. The alteration in its entirety inevitably leads to irreversible processes.
The decrease in mobility in the joint can cause unbearable pain. Gonarthrosis is the main reason for the surgical replacement of the knee joint.
What causes the development of Gonarthrosis?
- Among the main reasons for Gonarthrosis the most common are the following:
- Deterioration of the knee joint as a consequence of old age.
- Physical effort or trauma.
- When it develops at an early age it is usually caused by an occupational disease in sports).
- Excess body weight, and constant tension in the knees.
- Acute and chronic inflammatory processes of the knee joint.
- The deformation of the foot: which leads to an inadequate distribution of the load on the weight on the joint.
The main symptom that causes patients to seek medical help is the pain that develops during physical exercise, as well as, climbing heavy loads or going up and down the stairs. Pain progresses, and in severe cases, it does not even stop during rest. The mobility of the joint is significantly reduced. During movement a secondary inflammatory process leads to inflammation of the knee. Specialists recommend seeking medical help immediately before the damage becomes irreversible and requires surgical treatment or total knee replacement.
The diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis is based on a characteristic clinical picture and clinical history data. During the exam, an orthopedic specialist determines range of motion in the joint .
An X-ray examination is also necessary, since it allows diagnosing characteristic changes in the joint (deformation and narrowing of the joint space, the presence of osteophytes, and thickening of the joint surfaces).
The advanced state of the orthopedic field makes it possible to treat Gonarthrosis, which is why orthopedic specialists successfully apply modern techniques, among which the most notable are:
- Physiotherapy to restore mobility of the joint and reduce pain.
- The analgesic treatment.
- The topical and systematic application of anti-inflammatory drugs, effective in the acute phases of the disease.
- Correction of the distribution in the load on the joints (in cases of deformities in the legs or feet).
- Minimally invasive surgical treatment (arthroscopy), it can eliminate the development of cartilage degeneration by eliminating the affected areas and the formation of a pathological bone (osteophytes), as well as strengthening the ligamentous apparatus.
- The joint replacement surgery in the knee. (in the case of conservative and minimally invasive treatments, they have rarely failed).