Inflammation of the knee joint( including meniscus): treatment, symptoms and causes

Knee inflammation or arthritis of the knee is a very common pathology among the population. Even with very poor clinical symptoms, the disease can lead to severe consequences in the form of loss of joint function and disability. Therefore, it is very important to have an idea about this pathology and the first alarming symptoms in order to take timely measures and begin treatment. Only in this way will you save yourself and your health.

Causes and Risk Factors of

Factors that contribute to the development of knee inflammation are:

  • Excess weight and obesity. If a person has extra pounds, the load on all joints in the body, including the knee, increases significantly. This leads to a rapid wear of the articular cartilage and the development of degenerative-dystrophic changes.
  • Constant excessive load on the knee joint. This leads to microtraumatic structures of the joint, which significantly increases the chances of developing arthritis.
  • Not well developed knee muscles. The weak muscular skeleton poorly supports the stability of the joint, which leads to hypermobility and microtraction of its components.
  • Congenital or acquired defects in the structure of the musculoskeletal system( flat feet, scoliosis, shortening of one limb, etc.).
  • Injury in history( fracture, dislocation, bruise).
  • Occupation of extreme and professional sports.
  • Age. With age, the chances of developing knee arthritis are increasing.
  • Female gender. In women, joint diseases are more common than in men.

The causes of inflammation in the knee joint are very diverse. Arthritis of the knee can be acute and chronic, primary( when the pathological process initially affects the joint) and secondary( when arthritis is one of the symptoms of the disease), infectious and non-infectious, one-sided and symmetrical.

Acute inflammation of the joint is most often caused by microorganisms( bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa) that enter the joint cavity with blood flow or directly from the external environment with an open wound.

Chronic arthritis of the knee develops in such diseases:

  • osteoarthritis;
  • rheumatism;
  • rheumatoid arthritis;
  • gout;
  • psoriasis;
  • Lupus;
  • systemic scleroderma;
  • Bechterew's disease;
  • post-traumatic arthritis.

Clinical manifestations of

Symptoms of inflammation of the knee depends on the cause. But there are signs that occur in almost all nosological forms of the disease - pain, swelling, disruption of joint function.

And still advise to read:
knee joint treatment How to treat arthritis of the knee joint?

Pain syndrome is the most frequent satellite of the inflammatory process. Pain with arthritis of the knee is diverse. In acute infectious or reactive arthritis, the pain appears suddenly, it is sharp, intense, has a pulsating character. Strengthens with the slightest movements of the foot, accompanied by a feeling of raspiraniya in the knee.

When osteoarthritis pain appears gradually, as the pathological changes progress. At the beginning of the disease, it is periodic, appears only after intense physical exertion, at night and evening. In the morning after rest the pain passes. Over time, the pain becomes more intense and permanent.

In rheumatoid arthritis, knees are rarely affected, more often the disease affects the small joints of the hands and feet. The pain is constant, aching, accompanied by stiffness in the joint. Often a sick person needs half a day to disperse.

In arthritis of the knee joints, all the signs of inflammation occur - edema, increased local temperature, redness. These symptoms appear with acute inflammation or with exacerbation of the chronic process. The patient knee swells, increases in volume, its contours are smoothed out. The skin above the knee becomes red and hot.

Edema of the knee
Edema and smoothing of knee contours - obvious signs of inflammation

Inflammation of the meniscus often accompanies arthritis of the knee. Meniscus is a cartilaginous lining inside the knee joint that performs amortization functions( two of them are external and internal).Among the causes of this pathological condition, first of all, knee injuries and degenerative-dystrophic changes in the joint are distinguished.

Among the symptoms of inflammation of the meniscus can be identified:

  • pain in the joint of a permanent nature;
  • restriction of mobility, sometimes - blockade of the joint( when the damaged meniscus ruptures);
  • swelling;
  • the feeling of a foreign object inside the knee.

Consequences of knee arthritis

Prolonged inflammation in the knee joint can lead to severe consequences of in the form of various deformities, loss of leg function and disability if treatment is not started in a timely manner. In some diseases, deformations practically do not develop( reactive arthritis, rheumatism, lupus), but with such pathology other organs and systems are affected, which can cause the patient's death.

Other nosological forms of joint inflammation with prolonged flow lead to deformities and contractures. If treatment is not scheduled on time, then the extensor or flexural contracture of the knees, O- or X-like deformities of the legs may develop. In such cases, the function of the limb can be restored only by surgery and prosthetics of the knee joint.

deformity of the legs
X- and O-like deformities of the legs are a consequence of inflammation of the knee joints

First aid

Pressing bandage
Pressure bandage helps reduce inflammation symptoms and prevent complications

If you have a joint inflammation, you need to know what can be done before visiting the doctor to ease your condition.

It is necessary to memorize 4 principles of first aid for inflammation of the knee:

  • functional rest;
  • cold to the site of the lesion;
  • pressing and immobilization dressing;
  • elevated position of the affected leg.

The affected knee needs to create a position in which it would be well fixed and maximally immobilized. This will prevent further strain on the affected joint. For fixation, you can use an elastic bandage or a special prepared support bandage - a cut.

In the first hours you can use an ice pack or cold compresses, this will help to remove the inflammation. To reduce the pain syndrome, you can take a pill of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or analgesic.

knee inflammation