Osteoarthritis of the knee

Less knee pain. More life.


Take a new path – put a stop to osteoarthritis of the knee

Arthrosis is a widespread disease, with estimates indicating that more than 12 million people in Germany are affected by this joint disease. This group includes young and athletic people, too.

Arthrosis most often develops in the knee. The diagnosis can make those affected feel uncertain. Many fear that they will always have knee pain from now on and that they will need to take analgesics (pain medication) to be able to move. They wonder how long they will still be able to pursue their hobbies or climb the stairs, and at what point they may no longer be able to do anything without a prosthetic knee joint. Isn’t there any other way out of pain besides medication, no way to avoid or delay an operation?

Yes, there is! Put a stop to arthrosis. These days, there are good options for living an active life with arthrosis. In many cases, an orthosis can help reduce the pain – and help you regain your quality of life. Thanks to the appropriate orthosis, surgery can often be avoided. This website will tell you what you need to know about osteoarthritis of the knee. You will also find tips and information that will help you live your life with this disease on your own terms.

Devices for osteoarthritis of the knee

If you have arthrosis, an Ottobock orthosis can help alleviate pain and reduce the strain on your knee joints.

Cuadro clínico

Cuadro clínico de la gonartrosis

La artrosis de rodilla (gonartrosis en el lenguaje especializado) es una enfermedad que provoca el desgaste de la articulación de la rodilla. No tiene cura y origina alteraciones progresivas en la rodilla. En la fase inicial de la artrosis, no se produce dolor, o solo de forma aislada, ni limitaciones de la movilidad. A medida que la gonartrosis avanza, los dolores y las molestias pueden aumentar. La mayor parte de las personas desarrolla a la largo de la vida artrosis como consecuencia de un desgaste. Factores de riesgo como, por ejemplo, el sobrepeso, una desalineación articular, la falta de actividad física, la sobrecarga y la carga inadecuada de las articulaciones en algunos deportes o lesiones aceleran el desgaste de las articulaciones y pueden favorecer la aparición de una artrosis incluso en personas jóvenes.

Arthrosis changes the joint

Because it’s a degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis of the knee typically starts with signs of degeneration and/or minimal damage in the joint cartilage. As time passes, the cartilage surface becomes rough and uneven. The joint no longer moves smoothly. It snags and grinds. Increasing friction leads to painful inflammation in the knee, and fluid is effused into the joint capsule. In this condition, also referred to as activated arthrosis, there is constant pain. In the advanced stage of arthrosis, cartilage damage increases and all the tissue involved in the joint is affected. The bones form spurs (osteophytes) to stabilise the joint but cause ankylosis, or stiffening, in the process. Knee pain occurs at increasingly shorter intervals and becomes more severe over time.

Progresija bolesti: stadiji artroze

Osteoarthritis of the knee is classified into four degrees of severity:

  1. Arthrosis severity
    The joint cartilage has invisible signs of degeneration. It’s less elastic than healthy cartilage and can’t recover well after being subjected to strain. Initial knee pain may occur under high strain.

  2. Arthrosis severity
    The cartilage tissue becomes thinner. The cartilage surface becomes rough and uneven. The bones form initial spurs (osteophytes). The knee’s ability to bear weight is decreased. At this stage of arthrosis, the disease progression can be effectively slowed by exercises, weight loss and medical devices such as orthoses.

  3. Arthrosis severity
    The cartilage has partly disappeared so that the bones begin to rub against each other in some places. X-rays show pronounced bone spurs and narrowing of the joint space. At this advanced stage, arthrosis causes considerable restrictions of movement and knee pain.

  4. Arthrosis severity
    The joint space has narrowed considerably and the joint cartilage has almost completely disappeared. The bones are often damaged. The joint is deformed and often inflamed. In this final stage, joint replacement surgery – that is, a prosthetic knee joint – may be the best solution.


The vicious circle of arthrosis

Patients with osteoarthritis of the knee frequently get caught in a vicious circle:
In order to relieve the pain in their knee, the affected person exercises less and often adopts a certain posture to avoid discomfort. However, restricting their movement only provides short-term relief from pain. In the long run, a lack of exercise accelerates cartilage wear and increases pain in the knee. The affected person rests their knee even more often instead of exercising it, and the vicious circle closes.
Furthermore, the unnatural posture they take to avoid discomfort also puts excessive strain on other joints such as the hips, which can cause permanent damage.


Initial symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee

The sooner osteoarthritis of the knee is diagnosed and actively addressed, the better the chances of getting knee pain under control, maintaining joint mobility for a long time to come and slowing down the progressive changes in the knee joint.
If you experience the following symptoms in your knee on a recurring basis, you should have it examined by an orthopaedist:

  • Knee pain after rest (start-up pain)

  • Knee pain after unusual exertion

  • Knee pain during certain movements

  • Knee stiffness

  • Grinding and cracking in the knee joint

  • Swelling and inflammation in the knee

Diagnosis and therapy

Diagnosis and therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee

If you have knee pain or limited knee function, you should have it examined by an orthopaedist.

Diagnosing osteoarthritis of the knee

When talking to the doctor, you should give a detailed description of your knee problems and answer the physician’s questions precisely. In addition to the knee disorder, other health information such as arthroses in other joints, injuries, infections or chronic diseases may also be relevant to knee pain. During the examination, the physician will look at the knee and check its functions. They will then take an X-ray to see if any visible changes have already developed in the joint. In some cases, further examinations will be necessary to arrive at a diagnosis. Depending on the case, these include, for example, examinations of the blood or the joint fluid as well as other imaging procedures.


Tratamiento de la gonartrosis

Se distingue entre tres métodos de tratamiento básicos de la gonartrosis: el tratamiento conservador (no invasivo), el tratamiento invasivo con conservación de la articulación y el tratamiento invasivo con reemplazo de la articulación. Se denomina invasivos a los tratamientos en los que el médico efectúa cambios en la articulación de la rodilla.

Conservative (non-invasive) therapies

Conservative therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee includes all non-invasive treatments. Conservative therapy is made up of modules.

Conservative therapy for knee osteoarthritis includes the following modules:

  • Wearing supports and orthoses

  • Movement therapy

  • Special exercises

  • Mild to moderate sports activity

  • Healthy nutrition

  • Weight reduction if overweight

  • Hot and cold treatments as needed

  • Creams and gels to relieve pain

  • Analgesics and anti-inflammatory medications

Invasive joint-preserving therapies

Para aliviar las inflamaciones y el dolor en la rodilla, el médico puede inyectar medicamentos directamente en la articulación. A menudo se utiliza ácido hialurónico como principio activo. El ácido hialurónico está presente de forma natural en una articulación sana. Actúa a modo de nutriente del cartílago y como lubricante natural para la articulación. Las desalineaciones de las piernas que conducen a una artrosis pueden corregirse mediante un reposicionamiento quirúrgico de los huesos (osteotomía).

En determinados casos también se emplea un técnica endoscópica para el tratamiento de la artrosis con conservación de la articulación. Este proceso se denomina "artroscopia" (visualización de la articulación). Dado que el éxito de una artroscopia es limitado, esta técnica ya no está recomendada para el tratamiento exclusivo de la gonartrosis.

Invasive joint-replacing therapies

If conservative or invasive joint-preserving therapies no longer relieve pain or improve the knee function, joint-replacing therapy should be considered. During this surgical procedure, the natural joint is replaced either fully or partially by a prosthesis (endoprosthesis/prosthetic knee joint).

Aliviar el dolor

Las órtesis alivian el dolor de rodilla

Las órtesis de rodilla o las órtesis de pierna y pie, como la Agilium Freestep, descargan de forma específica las zonas de la articulación de rodilla con dolor y pueden aliviar de forma duradera el dolor. Estudios realizados lo demuestran. En muchos casos, el uso de órtesis cuando se sufre de gonartrosis permite dejar de tomar analgésicos o reducir la dosis. Los efectos secundarios de los medicamentos se evitan o se reducen de un modo eficaz. Las órtesis de rodilla o las órtesis de pierna y pie permiten a los pacientes con gonartrosis un movimiento prácticamente indoloro, así como practicar deporte. De este modo es posible romper el círculo vicioso de dolor, falta de actividad física y empeoramiento progresivo de la artrosis.

Most of my patients are very satisfied with the new orthosis. More than half of them have been able to avoid surgery so far.

Dr. Stinus

Taking a new path with orthoses from Ottobock

Find out about the experiences that patients with osteoarthritis of the knee have had and how they are taking new paths with orthoses from Ottobock.

Orthoses from Ottobock: solutions for different knee problems

Ottobock has developed tailor-made orthoses for different knee problems. Get an overview of the range of Ottobock orthoses for osteoarthritis of the knee here. Based on simple questions, Agilium Select takes just a few minutes to determine which brace is right for your knee problem and your lifestyle.


Osteoarthritis Agilium Line patient magazine

In the patient information you will receive information on the clinical picture of retropatellar arthrosis. Treatment options and the function of the orthosis are also shown.
Descarga (PDF 3.45 MB)
Activo contra la artrosis

Activo contra la artrosis

La gonartrosis no tiene cura, pero usted puede aliviar de modo eficaz el dolor y las molestias y, así, mejorar su calidad de vida si contrarresta de forma activa la artrosis con una alimentación saludable y movimiento adaptado.


Su menú debe constar, sobre todo, de frutas y verduras, ensalada, aceites vegetales, nueces y semillas. Los pescados como la caballa, el salmón y el arenque son ricos en nutrientes y en ácidos grasos omega-3 que tienen propiedades antiinflamatorias. Por ese motivo, este pescado saludable puede consumirse dos veces por semana. Algunas especias no solo mejoran el sabor de los platos, sino que también son buenas para las articulaciones: la cúrcuma, la nuez moscada, la canela y el cilantro tienen efectos antiinflamatorios y bajan la hinchazón. El chile y el jengibre contribuyen a aliviar el dolor. Consuma carne con moderación, preferiblemente carne de ave. El consumo de carne de vacuno y de cerdo debería ser solo ocasional. Evite los productos azucarados y procesados ricos en grasas y el consumo de tabaco y alcohol. En caso de sobrepeso, adelgazar descargará sus articulaciones y contribuirá a que tenga menos dolor de rodilla y a que se sienta en general más ligero y en forma.


Exercise in everyday life

Regular exercise is essential to counteract the progressive changes caused by arthrosis, maintain knee function and relieve pain. You should therefore integrate more exercise into your daily routine. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, run small errands on foot or by bike instead of using the car and relax with an evening walk rather than sitting in front of the television. At work, you can do short exercises during breaks – you’ll see that this isn’t just good for your knee, it also refreshes your mind.


“Exercise is essential for arthrosis patients because muscle inactivity simply results in a joint that is unstable, weak and misaligned. And that’s why exercise, muscle training and compensating for misalignments have to be the key factors in counteracting arthrosis.”

Christian Krone

Modalidades deportivas

Además del movimiento en la vida diaria, practicar con regularidad determinados deportes es lo ideal para mantener la artrosis bajo control. La natación, la gimnasia acuática, la marcha nórdica, montar en bici o dar largos paseos, por ejemplo, preservan la movilidad de la rodilla y previenen el dolor. Asimismo, refuerzan la musculatura de las piernas y fomentan la movilidad y la resistencia en general. El máximo precepto aquí es: muévase mucho sin llegar a sobrecargar el cuerpo. De este modo hará algo bueno por las articulaciones de sus rodillas y se sentirá, en general, mejor y más activo.
Sin embargo, no debería practicar deportes que provoquen una carga excesiva de la articulación de rodilla debido a paradas abruptas, giros pronunciados o presión elevada puntual. Entre ellos se encuentran la mayor parte de los deportes de pelota, el deporte de contacto o el esquí alpino.

Agilium Move

Agilium Move: entrenamiento específico para la gonartrosis

Ponga en forma su rodilla: en los vídeos Agilium Move puede ver ejercicios especiales para entrenar el equilibrio, la fuerza y la resistencia en caso de padecer gonartrosis. Nuestro programa "Agilium Move" está adaptado a la perfección a las necesidades de pacientes de artrosis y contribuye a reforzar la musculatura de las piernas y en torno a la articulación de la rodilla, a aumentar la estabilidad de la articulación de la rodilla y, de este modo, a impulsar la movilidad. ¡Déjese acompañar por el antiguo esquiador profesional Christian Neureuther y actívese con Agilium Move!

Aviso: nos tomamos en serio su salud. Evite las sobrecargas. Si tiene alguna duda, consulte a su médico o fisioterapeuta.

Balance exercises

In our Agilium Move balance exercises, former professional skier Christian Neureuther shows you how to specifically train your quadriceps and the muscles that control the knee joint. The exercises for osteoarthritis of the knee will improve your proprioception (self-awareness) of your knee. This, in turn, will improve the interplay between the dynamic muscles and the stabilising muscles used in different movement patterns.

Preguntas frecuentes

Preguntas frecuentes sobre la gonartrosis

What is arthrosis?

What is arthrosis

Arthrosis is a degenerative joint disease that is very common: around 12 million people are affected in Germany alone, and around 60 per cent of them have arthrosis of the knee (also referred to as osteoarthritis of the knee). Arthrosis can be caused by excessive strain, misalignment or injury to one or more joints. Mechanical stress that is excessive or inappropriate wears down the cartilage in the joint, resulting in progressive damage to the joint. It’s important to make a distinction between this primary arthrosis and secondary arthrosis, which occurs as a result of other diseases such as joint inflammation (arthritis).

¿Puedo evitar el avance de la enfermedad en una fase inicial de la artrosis?

Can I do anything during the early stages of arthrosis to prevent the disease from progressing?

Arthrosis is a joint disorder that often becomes worse over the course of a lifetime. To slow down the progression of the disease, you should avoid being severely overweight, avoid alcohol and nicotine, and try not to put excessive strain on the affected joints. Movement, special arthrosis exercises and healthy nutrition should be part of everyday life for people with osteoarthritis of the knee. Cycling and swimming, for example, are accessible activities for most people and are easy on your joints. In addition, make sure to wear shoes with flexible soles or shock-absorbing insoles while walking.

Može li se artroza izliječiti?

¿Puede curarse por completo la artrosis?

Puesto que no es posible regenerar de un modo natural el cartílago desgastado, la artrosis no se puede curar por completo. El desgaste articular avanza de forma progresiva y es irreversible. Sin embargo, llevando un modo de vida saludable puede ralentizarse el avance de la enfermedad: realice actividad física suficiente y evite factores de riesgo como actividades que dañen el cartílago o una sobrecarga constante de las articulaciones.

¿Qué posibilidades de tratamiento de la artrosis existen?

What are the treatment options for arthrosis?

In therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee, a distinction is made between (I) conservative (non-invasive) therapies (II) invasive joint-preserving therapies and (III) invasive joint-replacing therapies.
All joint-preserving therapies aim to avoid knee surgery and the use of a prosthetic knee joint, and to reduce symptoms and pain. Treatment options include physiotherapeutic measures and orthopaedic devices. Orthoses can relieve knee pain to a appreciable extent. People who wear orthoses are less likely to use analgesics. Please consult your physician to find the best possible course of treatment for your arthrosis.

Kako pronaći ortozu koja mi odgovara?

¿Cómo encuentro una órtesis adecuada para la artrosis?

Un médico o una ortopedia pueden asesorarle a la hora de elegir la órtesis adecuada para su articulación afectada. Puede encontrar las órtesis de Ottobock en numerosas ortopedias. Busque en nuestro directorio de distribuidores un proveedor en su zona. Los empleados in situ estarán encantados de asesorarle y le informarán de si es posible efectuar un tratamiento ortoprotésico de prueba con una órtesis. En nuestra página web tiene a su disposición un resumen de los medios auxiliares ortésicos de Ottobock. En la zona de las órtesis obtendrá más información sobre nuestra oferta de productos y modelos individuales y sobre cómo le pueden ayudar exactamente las órtesis en el caso de gonartrosis.

Trebam li očekivati ​​nuspojave ako nosim ortozu?

¿Cabe esperar efectos secundarios al utilizar una órtesis?

Al igual que numerosos medios auxiliares médicos, también las órtesis pueden provocar leves efectos secundarios, por ejemplo, irritaciones en la piel. Para evitarlo, deberá consultar con su médico el uso de una órtesis y prestar atención a que el producto esté adaptado de forma individualizada a usted. Además del ajuste, el cuidado y el uso correcto de la órtesis son también de gran importancia. De esta forma pueden evitarse en gran medida reacciones cutáneas o síntomas similares.

Može li ortoza biti alternativa uzimanju analgetika?

Može li ortoza biti alternativa uzimanju analgetika?

Orthoses can reduce the pain caused by arthrosis and improve your mobility. Orthoses also support and stabilise your knee joint and reduce pressure on the joint cartilage. This leads to a significant reduction in pain so that analgesics can often be avoided and quality of life is improved.

Ako nosim ortozu, hoću li morati promijeniti prehranu i raditi vježbe za povećanje pokretljivosti?

Ako nosim ortozu, hoću li morati promijeniti prehranu i raditi vježbe za povećanje pokretljivosti?

The treatment of arthrosis symptoms is based on several approaches: a change in nutrition can supply your body with healthy nutrients and help you lose weight in the case of severe obesity. Targeted training will strengthen your muscles, which helps to stabilise the joint. An orthosis is a useful addition to these two measures. It helps alleviate pain and can delay the need for surgery.

Što učiniti ako imam protezu koljena?

Što učiniti ako imam protezu koljena?

Orthoses can help to slow the progression of arthrosis. If the joint has deteriorated to a certain point, knee surgery may be needed to replace part or all of the joint with an endoprosthesis (prosthetic knee joint). An endoprosthesis is an implant that remedies the symptoms of arthrosis so that you no longer need an orthosis. Your doctor will inform you about the procedure, risks and side effects involved in such an intervention.

Volver a la vida cotidiana: en 3 pasos hasta la órtesis de Ottobock

  1. Aquí encontrará un resumen de las órtesis y correajes que pueden ser adecuados para usted. Lleve consigo esta lista la próxima vez que acuda al médico.
  2. Consulte a su médico cuál de las órtesis es la más adecuada para su cuadro clínico. Seguidamente, su médico le extenderá una receta para la órtesis correspondiente.
  3. Acuda con la receta a una ortopedia. Allí recibirá su nueva órtesis después de haberse adaptado con precisión a sus medidas corporales.

De nuevo activo gracias a Agilium: cuatro personas narran experiencias de su vida

Christoph con la Agilium Freestep

Christoph sufre de gonartrosis. "Gracias a la Agilium Freestep 3.0 puedo hacer muchas cosas que antes no hubiera sido capaz. No puedo imaginarme pasar un solo día sin la órtesis".

Los estudios demuestran la eficacia

Aproveche las extraordinarias posibilidades del tratamiento, desde un cambio en la alimentación y ejercicios de movilidad hasta una órtesis, para romper el círculo vicioso de la artrosis lo antes posible. Estudios clínicos y biomecánicos efectuados muestran efectos significativos y clínicamente relevantes. ¡Véalos por sí mismo!


Nuestros productos para la gonartrosis

Muchos pacientes satisfechos han podido retomar sus actividades diarias habituales con productos de la familia Agilium. Descubra más sobre las diferentes órtesis y su efecto en caso de gonartrosis.