Degenerative knee joint disease, also known as osteoarthritis of the knee (gonarthrosis), is a prevalent condition affecting a large portion of the population, with its prevalence increasing with age. This disease leads to gradual damage to the joint surfaces, bones, and intra-articular soft structures such as menisci and ligaments. It is a progressive disease, and its symptoms worsen over time.
The most common symptoms of degenerative knee joint disease include pain, stiffness, limited range of motion in the knee joint, crepitus or creaking sounds during movement, joint swelling, and difficulty in walking. These symptoms worsen with excessive physical activity and are typically relieved by rest. Characteristic is the pain and stiffness upon initiating movement after resting.
The causes of degenerative knee joint disease can be diverse:
- Previous knee joint injuries
- Excess weight or obesity
- Malalignment of the lower limbs (varus or valgus deformity)
- Postural abnormalities
- Systemic diseases
Diagnosis of degenerative knee joint disease involves physical examination, knee joint X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, and sometimes laboratory tests such as blood analysis and joint fluid analysis if systemic disorders are suspected as the cause of progressive joint degeneration.
Non-surgical treatment for degenerative knee joint disease involves reducing the load on the joint, visits to a physiotherapist, taking pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory medications, as well as viscosupplementation, which involves the injection of a hyaluronic acid preparation to reduce pain and improve knee joint function. PRP injections with an inflammation factor block can also be helpful in reducing inflammation and aiding in regeneration.
Surgical treatment for degenerative knee joint disease involves various procedures, such as arthroscopy, high tibial osteotomy (surgical realignment of the lower limb to relieve the affected knee compartment), and joint surface replacement, either partial or total knee arthroplasty. Rehabilitation and strengthening exercises, as well as range of motion work, are necessary after surgery.
Degenerative knee joint disease is a progressive condition that can lead to significant functional limitations. Early diagnosis and appropriate non-surgical treatments, such as physiotherapy, pharmacotherapy, and viscosupplementation, can help slow down or halt the progression of the disease. In advanced cases, surgical treatment such as joint surface replacement may be necessary.
At MIRAI, the following individual specializes in the knee area:
Tomasz Szymański – material development
Feel free to visit us!