Diseases of the knee joint( list), their symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

The knee joint is one of the largest and most complex joints of a man, which can withstand enormous loads every day. Along with this, the knee is a fairly vulnerable entity that is susceptible to various diseases and injuries. The following factors increase the risk of knee joint pathology:

  • excess body weight;
  • excessive load;
  • permanent microtraction of composite joint components;
  • poor development of the muscular corset of the joint;
  • congenital and acquired diseases of the musculoskeletal system;
  • occupations by professional sports;
  • trauma or knee surgery in history;
  • old age;
  • female floor.

Many diseases of the knee joint have similar symptoms, so their diagnosis is somewhat difficult and requires additional examination methods. It is also important to establish the cause of the pathology, since the treatment directly depends on it and in each case differs.

The structure of the knee joint
The knee joint is very complicated, and each of these structures can be damaged

Consider the most common diseases of knee joints.


Osteoarthritis of the knee joint is the most common pathology of this localization. It is a degenerative-dystrophic process, during which the intraarticular cartilage of the knee is gradually destroyed, which causes instability of the joint and secondary changes in the form of growth of osteophytes. Such changes subsequently lead to deformation of the joint, loss of limb function, in some cases the joint gap completely disappears, and the joint itself ceases to function( ankylosis).

Most often, arthrosis occurs in elderly and elderly people as one of the manifestations of age-related changes, but often occurs in middle-aged and even young people. Typically, these patients have the risk factors described above.

Arthrosis develops gradually, in several stages. In the beginning, people do not notice the problem, writing off the symptoms for fatigue or changing weather. They are worried about the feeling of discomfort or slight pain that appears after heavy and excessive loads. After rest the symptoms completely disappear.

In the second stage, painful sensations in the knees appear during daily work. This causes patients to take painkillers. At this stage there is a crunch when moving, periodic tug in the knees, begins to manifest a limitation of the amplitude of movements in the joint.

In the last stage, the cartilaginous tissue of the joint is completely destroyed, which leads to severe and chronic pain syndrome, deformity and loss of limb function. As a rule, at this stage, conservative treatment does not have an effect, and only the operation can restore the person's ability to move.

Arthrosis joint changes
Arthritis changes in arthrosis


Arthritis is a joint inflammation that can have an infectious, allergic or autoimmune etiology. The list of diseases that combine under the common name of "arthritis" is very large. In some cases, knee inflammation is a separate pathology, for example purulent arthritis, but most often arthritis of the knee is one of the signs of a common disease of the body, for example, rheumatoid, reactive, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, systemic lupus erythematosus and other connective tissue diseases.

Symptoms of arthritis are almost identical, regardless of the cause. Patients complain of:

  • knee pain, which can be acute, aching, pulsatile, persistent or intermittent( a detailed description of the pain syndrome will help the doctor to suspect a particular disease);
  • edema of the knee region, in some cases the joint may increase 2 or more times in diameter;
  • redness or other discoloration of the skin above the diseased knee;
  • skin becomes hot to the touch;
  • disrupted the function of articulation due to pain or swelling, and in the later stages of chronic arthritis - due to deformities.

Detailed diagnosis with the definition of the type and cause of arthritis is needed in each case, since their treatment is very different. Therefore, if you have symptoms of inflammation of the knee, you must seek specialized medical help.

Other inflammatory diseases

In addition to arthritis, there are several more inflammatory diseases of the knee joints.


The knee joint capsule forms many folds and pockets( burs, or bags) that are necessary for the normal functioning of the joint. They perform protective and amortization functions. But in some cases, these formations can become inflamed, they accumulate fluid and develop bursitis.

Inflammation of articular bags may be infectious and non-infectious. Pathological microorganisms can penetrate inside with the blood flow, directly from the external environment with an open wound, from the foci of infection located near the knee joint. Among non-traumatic causes, bursitis causes mechanical trauma, systemic rheumatological diseases, etc.

With bursitis, pain in the knee is intense, preserved at rest. Significantly, the function of the joint suffers, it swells, the skin over it blushes. In some cases, it is possible to see or grope a tumor-like protrusion( an inflamed bursa with a secret inside).Treatment, as a rule, is conservative, but in severe cases surgical sanitation may be necessary.

Bunion of knee joint
Bursitis of the left knee joint


Knee joints are strengthened by a large number of ligaments, each of which can be inflamed. Such a defeat is called tendinitis. It occurs, as a rule, due to constant microtraction of ligamentous elements or their infection.

This disease has virtually no external symptoms. Pain appears only with certain movements( this depends on the ligament that is affected).

If tendonitis passes into a chronic stage, then complications such as ligament rupture can be developed, which can only be restored surgically.


This term combines various pathologies of intra-articular knee joint menisci. They are 2 cartilaginous pads( external and internal), which complement the knee joint. Menisci can suffer from trauma( most often) or inflammatory processes.

The most common meniscus lesions:

  • detachment from the attachment site;
  • various types of breaks;
  • pathological mobility;
  • degeneration of its tissue with the development of varus or valgus deformity of the lower limbs;
  • cystic degeneration.
Types of damage to knee meniscuses
Types of knee meniscus ruptures

Treatment of meniscopathy depends on the degree of structural damage and the individual characteristics of the patient. For example, often a mild injury is not accompanied by symptoms that can affect a person's normal life, but the situation changes radically if the victim is a professional athlete. In the first case conservative methods of therapy are used or not prescribed at all, the second case requires urgent restorative surgical treatment.


Chondropathies, or osteochondropathies, are diseases of the knee joint, which are based on dystrophic processes due to malnutrition of certain areas of bone tissue( growth areas, ligament attachment sites, terminal sites of long tubular bones).As a rule, teenagers and children develop during the period of active growth. The risk factor is excessive exercise, constant traumatization of certain areas of the joint.

These diseases are mostly favorable in most cases. But sometimes it can be complicated by detachment of a part of bone tissue, ligaments that are attached to bones. This situation requires surgical correction of the defect.

The most common osteochondropathies of the knee joint area:

  1. Osgood-Schlatter disease is an osteochondropathy of the tuberosity of the tibia that is below the knee cap. To this zone the tendon of the quadriceps muscle of the thigh is attached.
  2. Chondropathy of the patella - pathological changes are localized on the posterior surface of the knee cap.
Osgood-Schlatter disease
Osgood Schlatter Disease

Knee Injury

Everyone can get an injury to the knee joint. There are so many varieties of such damage. Often knee injuries are combined. The following types can be distinguished:

  • contusion of the soft tissues of the joint;
  • traumatic hemarthrosis( congestion in the cavity of the joint of blood);
  • tears or detachments of the meniscus;
  • sprain and ruptures of intraarticular and extraarticular ligaments( anterior and posterior cruciate, lateral and medial collateral, patellar ligament, etc.);
  • intraarticular fractures of bones that form the knee joint;
  • fracture and patella dislocation;
  • dislocation of the lower leg in the knee joint;
  • ruptured capsules of articulation.

Only the trauma specialist can determine the type of injury after a thorough examination and all the necessary additional studies( radiography, MRI, CT, ultrasound of the joint) are performed.

Other pathologies

There are more rare diseases of the knee joint.

Goff's disease

Still advised to read: gonarthrosis Treatment of deforming arthrosis of the knee by folk remedies

This is a chronic inflammation of the fatty bodies of Hoff( accumulation of fatty tissue in the pterygoid folds of the joint capsule) with their subsequent degeneration. It arises from the constant traumatization of these formations and their infringement between the bones.

In addition to chronic pain, Goff's disease adversely affects the health of the entire joint, because the fiber performs a protective and cushioning function.

Among the symptoms that will allow you to suspect pathology, you can distinguish:

  • pain in the knee;
  • edema on the anterior surface of the knee below the patella;
  • the inability to maximally unbend the leg.

The danger of this pathology is that it is a serious risk factor for secondary degenerative-dystrophic lesions of the knee joint.

Cyst Becker

The cyst of Becker, or knee joint hygroma, is a benign cystic formation that has a dense connective tissue membrane and inside is filled with jelly-like contents. Anatomically, this formation is associated with the capsule of the joint or the lining of the tendons, and therefore is located near the knee( most often in the popliteal fossa).

Cyst Becker
Cyst Becker

The protrusion appears gradually, at first it does not hurt, but as it grows, painful sensations may appear. This formation is benign and never degenerates into a cancerous tumor.

Remove effectively the cyst can only be surgically done. Indications for such an operation is the infection of education, its large size, which is why the movements in the knee, cosmetic defect are limited.

When making the conclusion, it should be noted that there are a lot of diseases that affect the knee joints. Symptoms of most of them are very similar, therefore thorough diagnosis and identification of risk factors is necessary. This will effectively treat the pathology and prevent its re-development.

Pain in the knee joints
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Arthritis
  • Other inflammatory diseases
  • Meniscopathies
  • Chondropathies
  • Knee Injuries
  • Other pathologies