Periarthritis of the knee joint symptoms, causes, treatment, diagnosis

Periarthritis of the knee joint is a widespread disease that significantly complicates the function of the musculoskeletal system. Most often the result of injury or injury. Periarthritis is quite simple to diagnose and can be easily cured, provided that you seek medical help in a timely manner. Most people, at least once in their lives, experience pain in their knees. Pain can occur while walking, exercising, or even awkwardly. Few people think about the primary signs of a lap disease. A forgotten injury, accidental stroke or dislocation can provoke inflammation. In this case, general motor activity suffers.

What is periarthritis of the knee?

The knee joint is surrounded by muscles, connective formations and mucous bags. Numerous capillary vessels and nerve nodes pass through them. Thanks to the tissues, external protection of the knee and its active mobility are provided. Periarthritis in the knee joint is an inflammation of the surrounding tendons and muscle mass, in which there is a partial or complete loss of mobility of the lower limb. The main difference between periatritis and arthrosis is that with simple inflammation, the joint and its capsule are not affected.

In general medical practice, this disease of the knee joint is observed quite often. Mostly in women after 40 years. It has a primary character with a localization of inflammation in the back of the knee “goose foot”. And secondary, as a side effect of arthrosis, arthritis and osteoarthritis.

The prognosis of knee disease is favorable. But in case of complications, it will take a very long time to treat, more than 6 months. The results in this case are unpredictable.

Causes of the disease in the knees

Any adverse conditions for the body can cause tissue inflammation. A disease can develop if there is at least one of the following factors:

  • Injuries, even minor ones, can provoke an aggravation of the disease;
  • Weakened tendons and muscles due to fracture of the patella;
  • Significant hypothermia of the legs. One-time freezing of the limbs can give an impetus to the inflammatory process;
  • Staying on your feet or knees for a long time. Peculiar to some professions. For example, builders, sellers;
  • Sedentary office work;
  • Diabetes mellitus at any stage overweight;
  • Disharmony of thyroid function;
  • Various diseases of blood vessels and heart;
  • Other pathologies in cartilage.

Knee periarthritis may appear in the rehabilitation period after surgery, as a result of a sedentary regime. Or become a complication of diseases: bone protrusion dysplasia, Koenig’s disease, bursitis, meniscus dystrophy, etc.


Symptoms of knee periarthritis are nonspecific. They can be easily confused with signs of more known articular disorders. The presence of one or more signs is not a reason to make an independent diagnosis. This is a good reason to seek medical attention.

Typically, the disease is characterized by indicators:

  • Sharp pain in the knees, increasing when touched;
  • Mild swelling on the inside or outside of the knee;
  • Slight redness may be observed;
  • Steady fever;
  • The appearance of lameness;
  • Aching or sharp pain when walking, in a calm state does not bother;
  • A feeling of constant fatigue, weakness in the legs.

When the disease is neglected, limited mobility or complete impossibility of movement is observed. Inflammation covers tissues and blocks the joint, flexion – extension becomes painful.


Symptoms of knee periarthritis have much in common with other bone diseases. To make the correct diagnosis, a number of studies are prescribed to exclude more dangerous pathologies. A preliminary diagnosis is made on the basis of patient complaints and external examination by a doctor of the knee joint. An experienced orthopedist can easily determine the accumulation of calcium salts in the tissues of the knee joint, which are responsible for limiting mobility.

Further procedures are aimed at confirming the medical report:

  • A general blood test shows or refutes inflammatory processes in the body;
  • Radiography determines the presence of injuries or defects, it is impossible to see the full picture of the joint disease in the picture;
  • Ultrasound – a detailed study to exclude arthritis or arthrosis;
  • computed tomography – a modern informative diagnostic method;
  • MRI is the most accurate equipment for examination, is prescribed when there are doubts about the diagnosis;
  • A biopsy is an extreme measure when there is a suspicion of concomitant diseases.

In total, the data of hardware, laboratory and external studies give an overall picture of the disease and make it possible to make a final diagnosis.

Treatment of periarthritis of the knee

Launched inflammation of the knee joint can take a very long time and give unpredictable consequences, up to a complete lack of mobility of the lower limb. A timely diagnosis will avoid severe complications of the disease and conduct effective therapy.

Non-invasive methods

The disease is easily treatable in the primary stages. In most cases, a conservative method of therapy is enough for a complete recovery.

The course of treatment includes:

Taking anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs completely relieves the primary symptoms. Public, non-prescription drugs are prescribed: Diclofenac, Acetylsalicylic Acid, Ibuprofen, Fastum Gel, Ortofen, Nimesulide, Movalis. Severe pain is relieved by injections of novocaine directly into the joint tissues and local hormonal agents, for example, Hydrocartisone in the form of an ointment.

  • Physiotherapeutic procedures for periarthritis in the knee joint

Electrophoresis, ultrasound therapy, magnetotherapy, modern laser therapy – effective hardware procedures, after just a few sessions, relieve pain and restore mobility.

Treatment with leeches is very well established in this disease. But, it should be remembered that allergic reactions are possible.

  • Therapeutic exercises for the knees

Special exercises prescribed by the physiotherapist will relieve pain, bring the muscles to tone and consolidate the results of treatment.

Operational way

Extreme measure to block knee joint disease. It is rarely used, only in cases where standard therapy has not yielded any result and the condition continues to worsen. To prevent the development of pathology, growths of salt deposits on the tissues are removed. As a result, trauma to the connective tendons and muscles stops, inflammation is removed and joint function is fully restored. Such an operation is performed by the patient, if the pain does not stop bothering for more than six months, the work is associated with great physical activity and, despite therapeutic measures, the condition continues to worsen. After the operation, it is necessary to undergo a course of exercise therapy, for the rehabilitation of the knee joint.


The primary signs of periarthritis of the knee joint cannot be ignored. A visit to a medical institution and consultation with a doctor, immediately after the onset of the first symptoms, guarantees complete elimination of the disease.

For the prevention of periarthritis, it is necessary to adhere to the most basic safety rules:

  • At work, strictly comply with labor protection instructions;
  • At home, avoid traumatic situations;
  • Avoid hypothermia;
  • Protect from infectious diseases;
  • Do not engage in self-diagnosis and treatment.

The importance of joints in the body is difficult to overestimate. The overall mobility of a person depends on the state of health of the musculoskeletal system. Therefore, treatment of the knee joint, with periotritis, should begin in the early stages. Therapy will prevent the development of pathologies and ensure normal activity without restrictions and discomfort.

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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