About this disease
What it is about
Osteoarthritis is the wearing away of joints. Here, the cartilage narrows until, in the final stage, bone rubs against bone. This can be very painful. Wear and tear is accelerated by risk factors. In addition to genetic factors, body weight, stress on the joint during sports and pre-existing deformities play a role.
We distinguish between three stages of knee osteoarthritis depending on the extent of wear. In minor coxarthrosis, osteophytes are visible and the joint space is normal. In moderate coxarthrosis, there is a slight narrowing of the joint space and boulders cysts are present. In severe coxarthrosis, there is marked joint space narrowing. Depending on the leg axis, we also speak of varus gonarthrosis (arthrosis in bow legs) or valgus gonarthrosis (arthrosis in knock knees).
Symptoms and consequences
Typical complaints of osteoarthritis are start-up pain and load-dependent pain. In addition, mobility may be restricted. Accompanying inflammation of the mucosa not infrequently leads to pain at rest in the activation stage. The consequences are a restriction of mobility and quality of life.
What we do for you
Examination and diagnosis
X-rays are usually sufficient for making a diagnosis. These should be taken in two planes. In addition, the guidance of the patella and the load distribution in the joint should be assessed. An MRI is useful and necessary to assess the possibility of a partial replacement of the joint, as the soft tissues such as cartilage, meniscus and ligaments can be well evaluated here.
Treatment is conservative or surgical, depending on the symptoms. In addition to anti-inflammatory pain medications, physical therapy can help maintain muscle and mobility. Targeted joint infiltration with medication can reduce pain and improve mobility. However, this can only help temporarily, as the underlying mechanical problem remains untouched. The final solution is artificial knee replacement, which can be a partial replacement of a compartment or a total replacement.