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Arthritis Knee Joint

Healthy knee joint: The joint cartilage, a firm, elastic tissue, serves as a shock- and friction-absorbing cushion at the points where the ends of the bones meet. The joint space is lined by the synovial membrane, which secretes a lubricant.

Knee joint with arthritis in its initial or advanced stage: The synovial membrane thickens and inflames. This inflammation is the cause of progressive cartilage erosion (cartilage degrades). The excess synovial fluid accumulates in the space between and causes the swelling. Arthritis refers to "joint inflammation".

Knee joint with osteoarthritis in the progressive stage: Osteoarthritis begins with the degradation of the joint cartilage, but here the adjacent bone undergoes subsequent remodeling processes and the so-called joint surface is gradually destroyed. Arthrosis is therefore one of the degenerative diseases and refers to "joint wear".

Arthritis – what is it exactly?

Arthritis is an inflammatory, intermittent disease of the joints, which belongs to the wide range of rheumatic complaints, including numerous different types of arthritis such as activated arthrosis, gout and soft tissue rheumatism.

Risk of confusion! - There is a big difference between arthritis and arthrosis.

Arthritis is often confused with arthrosis. Arthritis must be distinguished from arthrosis because it is not an inflammatory but a degenerative disease of the joints. Arthritis is divided into two causes: bacterial - purulent arthritis, which is caused by germs in the joint, and non-bacterial arthritis, which is common in rheumatic diseases.

In contrast to arthritis, arthrosis behaves in exactly the opposite way. Here, the (wear-related) joint damage leads to inflammation.

How do I recognize a beginning arthritis? 
Symptoms - Initial stage - Final stage.

In the initial stages, the complaints of the joints are so unspecific that patients initially perceive them as general discomfort. The classic symptoms of arthritis are joint pain, which can either occur suddenly or gradually. The intensity is getting worse and worse. Particularly in the morning, affected people suffer from stiffness and circulatory disorders. In the initial stage, however, the stiffness subsides again.

In the further course of the disease, the joints are attacked. Acute attacks (which can last from weeks to months in some cases) occur with joint pain, swelling, fever and fatigue.

In the case of arthritis, an X-ray only shows joint damage in an advanced stage (after several years), so that such damage will hardly be a diagnostic aid in the initial phase of the disease. In most cases, it is the blood that should allow the examining doctor to draw conclusions about the patient's condition. If the blood reports the so-called non-specific signs of inflammation, the doctor will interpret this as the first indication of arthritis.

A precise diagnosis can also be made by examination using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Here the doctor receives precise information about the localization and spread as well as about the stage of inflammation. The cause of the inflammation is often found here.

Various Causes of Arthritis

Various causes can be responsible for the occurrence of arthritis:

  1. Inflammatory reaction of the knee joint due to overstrain
  2. Consequence of a crack formation in the meniscus.
  3. Consequence of cartilage damage
  4. Consequence of a bacterial infection
  5. Gout
  6. Activation of existing osteoarthritis

Treatment and Therapy:

Anti-inflammatory therapy:


Here in our practice we offer physiotherapy, which we use for diseases such as arthritis. We choose between physiotherapy, manual therapy, electric-, current-, laser- and shock wave therapy, EMG biofeedback, power plate and Cybex-training to find the appropriate treatment for your complaints. Here we try to deal specifically with your clinical picture and to correct it.

Cortisone Therapy

In the case of persistent complaints, which cannot be treated by physiotherapy or pain medication, we often use cortisone therapy. Here we inject a cortisone shock into the affected joint. This effect only occurs after some time, so it does not act like a pill that is immediately distributed in the bloodstream. It can last up to a few days. The process is usually repeated after 1 week, the effect lasts in most cases up to 4 weeks.

Hyaluronic Acid:

Hyaluronic acid is an element of cartilage and fluid in the joint. The artificially obtained medicine is injected directly into the joint. Roughly speaking, hyaluronic acid should act as a joint lubricant in arthrosis, delaying cartilage degradation, making the knee more flexible and the cartilage more slippery. Hyaluron should also have an anti-inflammatory effect and relieve pain. However, the therapy is usually only promising in patients with arthrosis that has not yet progressed too far. The effect does not occur immediately but lasts for half a year or even a year in good cases.

Orthopedics in the Rheinauhafen

Im Zollhafen 6
50678 Cologne

+49 221 96889493info@cffaca422318489d887673ff6909698aorthopaede-koeln.de