General Information On Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
The knee joint is particularly exposed to stress and therefore vulnerable to wear. Osteoarthritis of the knee (gonarthrosis) is a very common disease.
The decisive factor here is wear of the articular cartilage whose essential function is to serve as a sliding layer over the bony joint surfaces.
Causes include injuries, malposition and overload. Gonarthrosis often occurs as a result of bowed legs or knock-knees.
With increasing age, however, gonarthrosis can also occur without any apparent cause, or purely as a result of normal wear. Because fully grown persons are not able to regenerate articular cartilage, this kind of wear is actually part of the normal aging process. However, if the wear rate significantly exceeds that associated with aging, one speaks of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis causes pain. The pain arises on exposure to loads, but sometimes also at rest in the case of advanced osteoarthritis.
Start-up pain is a typical symptom of osteoarthritis of the knee joint. An affected person finds it difficult to walk after waking up or after prolonged sitting. At the same time, they experience a decrease in the knee joint’s mobility. The affected person tries to immobilize their knee in a soothing position, as a reflexive response intended to counter the pain. The result is a lack of exercise and a weakening of the muscles. To stay strong, however, muscles need movement, and so does the cartilage in order to remain sufficiently “nourished”.