Osteoporosis of the knee joint symptoms and treatment

Knowing the symptoms of osteoporosis of the knee joint will allow for an earlier independent diagnosis of the disease:

  • after a long stay in a sitting or lying position, the patient feels some restriction in the movements of the knee joint;
  • crunching in the knees when walking and at rest;
  • swelling of the joint;
  • pain in the knee is aggravated by the load, and is also clearly defined when probing the joint from the ins >

During the disease, 3 degrees are distinguished:

  1. Osteoporosis of the 1st degree is the stage of the disease that is most difficult to detect. The patient is concerned about some pain in the joint, but he can explain it with fatigue. Aching pain occurs in the mornings and when walking up the stairs. There may be a crunch. Changes in the joint at this degree of the disease are visible only on radiography.
  2. Osteoporosis of the knee joint of the 2nd degree is characterized by pain, which appears not under certain conditions, but regularly throughout the day. Unpleasant sensations are present even at the moment of rest. With osteoporosis of the knee joint of the 2nd degree, the patient becomes more difficult to walk. Joint swelling and its deformation are observed.
  3. Grade 3 osteoporosis is a condition close to disability. The patient is not able to perform minimal physical exertion. The patient cannot bend or straighten the leg. He constantly feels severe pain in the knee joint, a crunch is heard not only to the patient himself, but also to others. The patient’s legs are bent in the shape of the letter “X” or “O”.

Which doctor treats knee osteoporosis?

Various specialists can deal with the treatment of bone and joint diseases. Osteoporosis of the knee joint is treated by a rheumatologist, but if the cause of the disease is hormonal imbalance, the patient is examined by an endocrinologist, and if a joint injury occurs, a traumatologist.


First, the doctor examines the patient and makes a preliminary diagnosis. After this, the necessary examination methods are prescribed:

  • A biochemical blood test is prescribed in order to track the content of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D in the blood, as well as hormones and enzymes that regulate calcium metabolism.
  • Radiography allows you to see the density of the bone and the degree of damage.
  • Osteodensitometry is a method similar to radiological. Ostedensitometry is considered a more accurate study, since it allows you to see changes at earlier stages. The bone surface density is calculated and specific areas of damage are determined.
  • Absorption spectrometry is a diagnostic method based on bone absorption by rays. The more bone is absorbed, the more serious the changes.
  • Isotopic absorptiometry allows you to track the calcium content in bone tissue. This is a relatively new method, so it is not often used. At the moment there is not enough information indicating the safety of the method.
  • For diagnosis, ultrasound (ultrasound), computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are also used.

What is dangerous disease?

Without timely treatment, osteoporosis of the knee joint leads to a strong increase in the risk of fracture, which can occur from any careless movement.

Grade 3 osteoporosis can cause joint articular fusion or the appearance of a false joint.


The approach to treating knee osteoporosis depends on the degree of the disease. At 1 degree, doctors recommend taking up weight correction, since pathology often affects overweight people. Drug therapy is also used. As an anesthetic, NSAID drugs are prescribed (Diclofenac, Ibuprofen, Indomethacin). A good effect is provided by therapeutic massages, gymnastics, wearing a knee pad or elastic bandage.

Treatment of osteoporosis of the knee joint of the 2nd degree includes NSAIDs, vasoconstrictors and chondroprotectors (Chondroxil) – preparations containing cartilage components. The patient is treated with hyaluronic acid injections and physiotherapy. It is recommended to load the sore leg as little as possible, walk with a cane and do gymnastics that strengthens the muscles of the legs.

Treatment of grade 3 knee osteoporosis can be both therapeutic and radical, surgical. The patient is invited to remove deformed structures or prosthetics of the knee joint.


The best prevention of bone and joint diseases is regular and moderate physical activity. Sports activities should start from an early age. Overweight control, avoiding excessive joint stress and a balanced diet containing calcium are key to good health.

Patients at risk, that is, elderly people or women who have entered the period of menopause, should undergo a regular medical examination.

Osteoporosis of the knee joint is successfully diagnosed and treatable. Patients only need to remember that a doctor should be consulted immediately after the occurrence of joint pain or the manifestation of other symptoms.

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

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Shishkevich Vladimir

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews. It specializes in the treatment of diseases in orthopedic, traumatological, vertebrological profiles