What is ligamentosis of the knee joint and the reasons for its development

Ligamentosis of the knee joint is a disease in which the ligamentous tissue is gradually replaced by cartilage and bones. Flexible ligaments in the knee joints provide mobility of the joints. With degenerative-dystrophic tissue replacement, this mobility decreases, in this person experiences pain.

Knees are a vulnerable part of the human body, the tissue receives poor blood supply and is restored for a long time after injuries. Without realizing what it is – ligamentosis of the knee joint, a person may not attach importance to a little discomfort and not seek treatment.

Characteristics of the disease

Ligamentitis of the knee joint is a chronic disease in which the structure of the connective tissue is disturbed. The cruciform tissue degenerates and becomes harder, the mobility of the knees with time becomes difficult or impossible, accompanied by pain. In all cases, ligamentosis of the cruciate ligaments of the knee joint becomes a consequence of chronic inflammation in the specified area.

Ligamentous tissue is saturated with calcium, as a result of which it becomes harder and increases in volume. Against the background of ligamentosis of the cruciate ligaments, disorders of the motor apparatus, arthrosis, and spinal diseases develop. In a neglected form, the disease provokes complete ossification of the ligamentous tissue, depriving the mobility of the knee joint.

Causes of ligamentosis

The risk group includes people over 40 years old and athletes who constantly put knees on the load. Inflammatory processes that provoke ligamentosis of the knee joint arise due to:

  1. Regular microtraumas – sudden movements, knees bumps, exceeding the natural amplitude, frequent landings on hard surfaces, etc .;
  2. Physiological aging, which reduces blood supply to the knee ligaments and causes calcification of the ligamentous tissue;
  3. Severe injuries that cause damage to the ligamentous tissue or joint;
  4. Osteochondrosis of the knees;
  5. Genetic predisposition.

Knowing what ligamentosis is, you can not leave this disease unattended. Mobility of the knee joint is the basis of comfortable movement of a person. Ligamentous changes are accompanied by fairly strong pain. In the initial stages, a person experiences only discomfort during flexion and extension of a damaged knee.

Symptoms of ligamentosis

Symptoms of ligamentosis of the knee joint are local, pronounced:

  • Cutting pains in the affected knee;
  • The occurrence of swelling and swelling due to an increase in the cruciate ligaments in the volume;
  • Decreased mobility, the ability to bend and extend the knee joint.

Methods of diagnosis

Clinical symptoms are not enough to determine the nature of the disease. As diagnostics, modern medicine tools are used, depending on the stage of ligamentosis, these can be ultrasound, MRI and radiography.

X-ray examination effective in the late stages of ligamentosis, when the processes of ossification of the ligamentous tissue began. Pictures will show the centers of the tissues which underwent degeneration and calcification. In the early stages of ligamentosis of the cruciate ligaments of the joint, an x-ray is practically useless.

An ultrasound scan is most effective for diagnosing ligamentous tissue degeneration. An ultrasound machine allows you to carefully examine the current condition and quality of the cruciate ligaments, as well as the surrounding tissue.

Despite the high effectiveness of MRI in diagnosing most joint diseases, a study is rarely prescribed in the early stages of ligamentitis. In Russia, especially in the regions, there is insufficient equipment to determine what it is, whether the patient has ligamentosis or other pathological changes.

Magnetic resonance imaging displays ligamentosis even in the early stages, when there are no severe symptoms, and the patient himself is unaware of the inflammatory processes that occur in the tissues.

Treatment of ligamentosis of the knee

For the treatment of ligamentosis of the cruciate ligaments of the knee joint, various manipulations are used, up to surgical intervention. To alleviate the condition of the patient without additional medications, fixing braces and knee pads are used.

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

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Conservative treatment

The goal of doctors is to prevent the development of ligamentosis and tissue degeneration, to normalize the patient’s condition. Therapy involves the use of the following methods:

Oral and local medicines. Including drugs that relieve pain and anti-inflammatory drugs. Among topical medicines, ointments with anesthetic and warming effects are prescribed. If the patient experiences severe pain, injections with selected drugs are used to treat ligamentosis.

Physical exercise. Physical therapy is prescribed only after the removal of pain and inflammation of the ligamentous tissue. The task of taking the course of exercise therapy is to restore the mobility of the knee joint by performing special exercises. Exercise therapy should be carried out with caution, under the supervision of a doctor.

Physiotherapeutic treatment. So that ligamentitis of the patellar ligament does not progress, and the pain disappears, physiotherapy methods are used. Among physiotherapeutic methods, electrophoresis, lining with paraffin and therapeutic mud, ultrasound irradiation, etc. are common.

Conservative treatment of ligamentitis of the knee joint is not able to restore the affected tissue, only inhibit the process of ossification and alleviate the human condition. To eliminate the ligamentous pathology, surgical intervention is required.

Surgery

During the operation, doctors remove the affected tissue and replace it with artificial implants. The composition of the replacement synthetic material does not cause rejection and is similar in structure to healthy human cruciate ligaments.

The sooner the treatment of ligamentosis of the patellar ligament of their own begins, the more effective the therapeutic measures will be. A conservative approach is enough to significantly improve the patient’s condition if the patient accurately complies with the doctor’s instructions.

Preventive measures

Understanding what ligamentosis of the knee joint is, no one will want to become a victim of this disease. It has already been said above that athletes and middle-aged people are at risk. As prevention, you need to follow simple rules:

  1. Use bandages and elastic bandages during exercise and for several hours after them;
  2. Reduce the load on the knee joints, combine active exercises with periods of rest;
  3. Increase physical activity with a sedentary lifestyle, especially for people over 40 years old.

It is important to maintain the integrity of the tissues of the knee joints, to prevent the onset of inflammation. In case of injuries, discomfort in the knees, it is recommended to undergo consultation and examination.

In the absence of treatment, intraarticular ligamentosis progresses. The ligamentous tissue gradually loses elasticity, is completely regenerated, is saturated with calcium and bones. This process is irreversible, pathological ligaments cannot be restored without an operable route. It is important to seek diagnosis and treatment in a timely manner in order to keep most of the ligaments in a natural state.

Anatoly Kudravets

Anatoly Kudravets, Orthopedic Traumatologist. He works with severe cases, practices operative methods of treating connective tissues

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